The Government has published a list of 260 employers that have failed to pay 16,000 workers a combined total of £1.7 million in back pay over the last seven years.
According to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Sports Direct and Primark were two of the worst offenders – having failed to pay employees a combined total of nearly £1 million.
However, as far as sectors are concerned, firms in the hospitality, hairdressing and retail industries all ranked poorly in terms of underpaying their workers, mainly because they did not pay employees for travelling between jobs, and deducted money for uniforms. Some were also not paying for overtime.
As Business Minister Margot James pointed out, there is “no excuse” for not paying staff the minimum wage, adding that the Government will come down hard on businesses that break the rules.
A spokesman for the Low Pay Commission added that it is good to see HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) continuing to target large employers, as well as those with only a few employees.
The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the minimum pay all workers are entitled to by law and the hourly rate depends on the worker’s age. All working people aged 25 or over currently receive the National Living Wage (NLW) which is set at £7.50 per hour. Those under 25 will receive the NMW, which ranges from £3.50 for apprentices to £7.05 for those aged between 21 and 24.
Since 2013, the scheme has identified £8 million in back pay for 58,000 workers, with employers fined a total of £5 million. In 2018, the Government is expected to pump even more money into minimum wage enforcement.
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