Government ramps up enforcement action against employers who breach legal minimum wage laws

News Article

Employers who breach minimum wage legislation will continue to be publicly “named and shamed”, it has been revealed.

The announcement comes after a review of the measure designed to deter rogue employers from underpaying workers.

According to the review, naming rounds should not only continue, but “occur more often” to enhance the effectiveness of the measure as a deterrent.

Under the scheme, employers who fail to pay employees the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or National Living Wage (NLW) are “named and shamed” on a public GOV.UK domain, attracting media attention and irreparable reputational damage.

Commenting on the recommendations, Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said: “Anyone who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it – no ifs, no buts – and we’re cracking down on companies that underpay their workers.

“We also want to make it as easy as possible for employers, especially small businesses and those trying to do right by their staff, to comply with the NMW rules, which is why we’re reforming regulations.”

According to the latest figures, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) identified £24.4 million in arrears for over 220,000 workers in 2018/19, attracting record penalties totalling over £17 million.

Last year, ‘named and shamed’ employers included Debenhams, Bristol City Football Club, Odeon and Wagamama. Employers who underpay workers face fines of up to 200 per cent of the arrears.

Samantha Randall, an Employment Law expert with Palmers, said: “News that the Government is stepping up its enforcement against employers who pay below minimum wage will be welcome news to millions of workers across the country.

“If you require help or advice with legal rights for employees then it is important that you seek specialist advice.”

For professional and independent advice on any aspect of employment, contact our employment team today

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