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Government to resume naming and shaming firms who fail to pay minimum wage

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

The government is to resume naming and shaming businesses for failing to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

From April, names of companies breaching the rules will be publicised more frequently. However, the government has introduced a more “proportionate” approach, increasing the threshold at which firms are called out from £100 of wages owed to £500.

This means businesses falling foul of the rules by minimal sums will not be named, provided they correct any errors, and those that underpay by less than £100 will have the chance to correct their mistakes without being named. However, they will still have to pay back workers and could face fines of up to 200% of the arrears.

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.”

In March 2018, the government called out 179 employers – including restaurant chain Wagamama and Marriott hotels – for underpaying more than 9,000 minimum wage workers by £1.1m.

The worst-offending sectors were retailers, hospitality businesses and hairdressers.

Naming and shaming of firms was halted in July 2018 to allow for a review into the effectiveness of the scheme.