In March, the Government published a list of 149 employers who failed to pay the basic rate of the National Minimum Wage (NMW).
Those accused included restaurant chains such as Wagamama and TGI Friday’s, as well hotel giant Marriott, Premier League football club Stoke City and rugby club St Helens.
According to the Business Department, the failure to pay meant that a total of £1.1 million was due in back pay to some 9,200 workers, particularly among the retail, hairdressing and hospitality sectors.
According to the report, failing to pay workers for travelling between jobs, not paying overtime, and deducting money for uniforms were some of the reasons for the underpayments.
However, as Business Minister Andrew Griffiths commented when the list was published, “there are no excuses for short-changing workers” and “this is an absolute red line for the Government”.
He added that employers who cross this red line will get caught and will be forced to pay back every penny, in addition to fines of up to 200 per cent of the wages owed.
On 1 April, the NMW rose from £7.50 to £7.83 – and employers need to make sure they have accounted for this in their payroll.
A spokeswoman for the TUC said it was “shocking” to see so many household names publicly shamed over NMW failings. She said that there was no excuse for not paying workers the NMW, as it has been in use for almost 20 years.
At The Fish Partnership, we can help businesses to implement any changes to the NMW into their payroll. For more information about our payroll services, please contact us.