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Government ‘names and shames’ employers on minimum wage violations

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The government has named and shamed 179 employers – including restaurant chain Wagamama and Marriott hotels - for underpaying more than 9,000 minimum wage workers by £1.1m.

The government recovered back pay for the 9,200 workers affected and fined the employers a total of £1.3m for breaking national minimum wage laws. The worst-offending sectors were retailers, hospitality businesses and hairdressers, though there were also four schools on the list. Sports Direct and Primark, which appeared on the last naming round were absent from this month’s list.

The National Living Wage will go up from £7.50 to £7.83 per hour on 1 April. Apprentices under the age of 19 and those in the first year of their apprenticeship get a 5.7% rise.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is planning a campaign to raise awareness of the new rates and encourage workers to speak to their employer if they think they are being underpaid.

Business Minister, Andrew Griffiths, said: “The world of work is changing and we have set out our plans to give millions of workers enhanced rights to ensure everyone is paid and treated fairly in the workplace.

“There are no excuses for short-changing workers. This is an absolute red line for this government and employers who cross it will get caught – not only are they forced to pay back every penny but they are also fined up to 200% of wages owed.

“Today’s naming round serves as a sharp reminder to employers to get their house in order ahead of minimum wage rate rises on 1 April.”

This is the 14th naming round. Since 2013 the scheme has identified more than £9m in back pay for around 67,000 workers, with more than 1,700 employers fined a total of £6.3m. The government has also committed £25.3m for minimum wage enforcement in 2017 to 2018.

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