Employers named and shamed for paying less than minimum wage

Following investigations by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, 191 businesses were recently named for breaking national minimum wage law during the period 2011 to 2018. The majority of these offences were caused by individual incidents of wrongful deductions or for failure to pay correct overtime, but a significant proportion of the businesses named had failed to pay the correct apprenticeship rate, meaning the apprentices were consistently underpaid from the outset.

“She does not deserve the National Minimum Wage because she only makes the teas and sweeps the floors”

A total of £2.1 million was found to be owed to over 34,000 workers. The named employers have since been made to pay back what they owed, and were fined an additional £3.2 million, in a strong statement from the government that is unacceptable to underpay workers.

“I have got a signed contract agreement with my workers that I will not pay them the National Minimum Wage”

Businesses should be mindful that in April the government gave millions a pay rise by increasing the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates, and double check that they have accounted for this rise in their payroll. The rise means someone working full time on the National Living Wage will be taking home £5,400 more annually than they were in 2010.

“My workers are just on standby when there are no customers in the shop; I only pay them when they are actually serving someone.”

Every single UK worker is entitled to the National Minimum Wage, no matter their age or profession. Minimum wage breaches can occur when workers are being paid on or just above the minimum wage rate, and then have deductions from their pay for uniform or accommodation. Whilst not all minimum wage underpayments are intentional, it has always been the responsibility of all employers to abide by the law. Clear guidance is available on gov.uk, which all employers should check.

“It is part of UK culture not to pay young workers for the first three months as they have to prove their ‘worth’ first.”

If you are concerned that you may have calculated your employees’ pay incorrectly, or would like to talk to someone about transferring your payroll across to us to avoid any miscalculations in the future, please contact a member of our payroll team today.