Government 'names and shames' minimum wage underpayers

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in central London Business minister Jenny Willott said everyone entitled to the minimum wage should receive it

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A list of 25 employers who failed to pay workers the minimum wage has been released by the government.

They are the latest offenders to be "named and shamed" under rules that came into effect last October.

Between them they owe more than £43,000 to staff and have been ordered to pay fines totalling more than £21,000.

Business minister Jenny Willott said: "If employers break the law they need to know they will face tough consequences."

The national minimum wage is currently £6.31 an hour for adults and will rise to £6.50 from October.

'Wrong and illegal'

The employers were investigated by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) after members of staff called a free helpline to report they were being underpaid.

They include a school in Edinburgh which underpaid an employee by £3,739 and a garage in Bradford that failed to pay a worker £6,426.

The government's "naming and shaming" initiative is one of a number of measures it has introduced for employers who break the minimum wage law.

Those who underpay now face penalties of up to £20,000, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said.

Plans - as outlined in the Queen's Speech - are under way so that employers will face a £20,000 fine per employee who is underpaid.

Coins totalling £6.50, the new minimum wage from October The minimum wage rises to £6.50 from October

Twelve of the employers underpaid staff by four-figure sums. They are:

  • Christine Cadden and Nicola Banks of Renaissance, Wirral, who failed to pay £7,310.65 to three workers.
  • Alan King and John King of Arthur Simpson & Co, Bradford, who failed to pay £6,426.12 to a worker.
  • Central Heating Services Ltd, Hampshire, which failed to pay £6,200.28 to four workers.
  • Cargilfield School Ltd, Edinburgh, which failed to pay £3,739.58 to a worker.
  • A2ZEE Constriction Ltd, Cramlington, which failed to pay £3,375.51 to 14 workers.
  • Mr and Mrs Balasco of Eugenio, Bristol, who failed to pay £3,037.53 to two workers.
  • Mr and Mrs Hampton of The Wheatsheaf Inn in Crewe, Cheshire, who failed to pay £2,057.88 to five workers.
  • Steven Stainton of Steven Stainton Joinery, Cumbria, who failed to pay £1,415.82 to a worker.
  • Runbaro Ltd, Swindon, which failed to pay £1,413.88 to a worker.
  • Satwinder Singh Khatter and Tejinder Singh Khatter of The Bath Hotel, Reading, who failed to pay £1,237.79 to two workers.
  • Richard Last of Classic Carpentry, Godalming, who failed to pay £1,236.72 to a worker.
  • We are Mop! Ltd, London, which failed to pay £1,018.05 to two workers.

Ms Willott said: "Paying less than the minimum wage is not only wrong, it's illegal.

"If employers break the law they need to know that they will face tough consequences. Any worker who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it."

The remaining employers named by the government are:

  • Sue English of Legends Hairdressers, Colchester, who failed to pay £823.40 to a worker.
  • Saftdwin Ltd, Hampshire, which failed to pay £806.37 to two workers.
  • Master Distribution Ltd, Essex, which failed to pay £718.62 to a worker.
  • Perth Hotels Ltd, Perth, which failed to pay £556.80 to a worker.
  • Bryants Nurseries Ltd, Hertfordshire, which failed to pay £494.07 to a worker.
  • Dove Mill Retail Outlet Ltd, Bolton, which failed to pay £461.84 to a worker.
  • Luigi's Little Italy Ltd, Yorkshire, which failed to pay £281.04 to five workers.
  • CPS SW Ltd, Exmouth, which failed to pay £261.29 to a worker.
  • Gary Calder, Richard Calder and Neil Calder of Avenue Agricultural, Northamptonshire, who failed to pay £256.55 to a worker.
  • Dakal Ltd, Northampton, which failed to pay £252.00 to two workers.
  • Zoom Ltd, Havant, which failed to pay £242.28 to three workers.
  • HSS Hire Service Group Ltd, Manchester, which failed to pay £149.00 to 15 workers.
  • Sun Shack Ltd, Hamilton, which failed to pay £134.35 to eight workers.
'Clear deterrent'

HMRC said this week that more than £4.6m had been paid out to 22,000 people, including staff at a Premier League club, who had been paid less than the minimum wage.

The football club, which HMRC did not name, made staff pay for their uniforms and also made deductions for travelling time, had to pay arrears of more than £27,500 to 3,000 workers.

Another case involved a recruitment agency - again which HMRC did not name - that was ordered to pay more than £167,000 after classifying some workers as unpaid interns.

Asked why HMRC would not publish the names of the football club or recruitment company a Department for Business spokeswoman said they had been investigated under previous rules and not as part of the new enforcement regiment.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady added: "It is shocking that some employers - including those who pay certain star staff millions of pounds a year - are cheating low-paid workers out of the minimum wage.

"The penalties won by HMRC - which the government are rightly making even bigger - should be a clear deterrent to any bad bosses thinking about short-changing their staff."

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