The government has named and shamed 360 businesses – many of them High Street names – who are failing to pay workers the wages they are legally entitled to.
Retailers including Debenhams, Lloyds Pharmacy and Subway are amongst the well-known names who have been found to be in breach of national minimum wage and national living wage legislation.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the employers who are most commonly found to break the law are hairdressers, retailers and those employing workers in the hospitality sector.
Lara Murray, as Associate and employment law expert with Palmers said: “Traditionally, employers who have failed to pay minimum wages, have typically been assumed to be small businesses who were under resourced in terms of HR and perhaps were ignorant of the laws.
“This latest news shows that the practice is far more widespread than many may have believed and involves some very large companies which, one might argue, should know better.”
There are significant fines for employers who are found to be breaking the law. Debenhams had to re-pay £134,000 to more than 11,000 staff – more than half of its shop workers – after it was discovered that errors had led to each of them being underpaid by £11. The company was also fined £63,000.
Lara added: “HMRC are becoming ever more litigious and will take action if they find employers are underpaying their staff.”
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