As part of the government's routine "naming and shaming" of employers that have failed to pay their staff the national minimum wage, 13,000 workers are set to receive back pay amounting to £2 million. According to the latest list, 233 businesses have failed to pay the minimum wage and will now have to pay around £2 million worth of back pay to workers, along with a record £1.9 million in fines. The Government has fined 1,200 employers around £4 million and forced them to pay out £6 million to staff since 2013.
Common mistakes by employers in this round included wrongly deducting money from wages to pay for staff uniforms, mistakenly paying apprentice rates to workers, and failing to account for overtime hours when calculating pay. The shortfall was also linked to the timings of staff briefings before they had clocked on to their shifts, and security searches which could happen after workers had finished a shift. Retailers, hairdressers and hospitality firms were seen as the worst industries for under-paying staff.
Most notably, Argos (who in February admitted to failing to pay 37,000 of its staff the minimum wage) faced the largest fine of £800,000, citing systems and process difficulties as the reason for its underpayment.
Speaking on the latest naming round, Business Minister Margot James said that it has sent a "clear message to employers that the government will come down hard on those who break the law".