The government has named and shamed another 239 employers for underpaying their workers the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or National Living Wage (NLW). The government’s latest “naming and shaming” list covers 22,400 workers who will now receive £1.44 million in back pay. The back pay identified by HMRC was for more workers than in any previous single naming and shaming list. The government has also fined the errant employers an additional record £1.97 million. Employers who pay less than the NMW/NLW must pay back arrears of wages to the worker at current NMW/NLW rates and face financial penalties of up to 200% of the arrears, capped at £20,000 per worker.
The top 5 reasons for NMW/NLW underpayments in this naming and shaming round were:
- Taking deductions from wages for costs such as uniform
- Underpaying apprentices
- Failing to pay travel time
- Misusing the accommodation offset
- Using the wrong time periods for calculating pay.
The largest employer named on the list was the Card Factory, which failed to pay £430,097 to 10,256 workers.
The naming and shaming scheme is now in its fifth year and has so far identified £10.8 million in back pay for around 90,000 workers, with more than 1,900 employers fined a total of £8.4 million. Funding for NMW/NLW enforcement has more than doubled since 2015, with the government set to spend £26.3m in 2018/19.