HMRC has this month published the names of 139 companies that failed to pay the National Minimum Wage to over 95,000 workers between 2016 and 2018, short-changing employees by £6.7 million in total.
It is the first time that the government has revealed the names of companies that have failed to pay the National Minimum Wage since 2018, after reforms to the process ensured that only the worst offenders are targeted.
The full list of companies in the wrong, which can be found on the gov.uk website, have received fines for breach of employment law.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said in a statement upon publication of the list that “preserving and enforcing workers’ rights is a priority” for the government and exposure of offenders should “serve as a warning” that action will be taken against those who short-change their workforce.
Business Minister Paul Scully added that the exposure of offending businesses ought to serve as a major “wake-up call” to rogue bosses.
Scully said: “Paying the minimum wage is not optional, it is the law. It is never acceptable for any employer to short-change their workers, but it is especially disappointing to see huge household names who absolutely should know better on this list.
“This should serve as a wake-up call to named employers and a reminder to everyone of the importance of paying workers what they are legally entitled to. Make no mistake, those who fail to follow minimum wage rules will be caught out and made to pay up.”
Bryan Sanderson, Chair of the Low Pay Commission, commented: “There can be no excuses for non-compliance with the minimum wage rates. The annual changes are well publicised six months in advance following a well understood process.
“Those affected are among the most needy and vulnerable in our country - the companies concerned should be deeply ashamed of their performance.”