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Thousands of workers to receive over £1m in back pay

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

More than 22,000 workers on the minimum wage are due a share of £1.4m in back payments as the government today names and shames employers underpaying staff.

A total of 239 employers have made it onto the government’s name and shame list with underpayments dating back to 2011 – the most recent taking place this year.

It meant that a record 22,400 minimum wage workers were underpaid by £1.44m.

Employers were found to have done the following:

  • Made deductions from wages for costs such as uniforms
  • Underpaid apprentices
  • Failed to pay travel time
  • Misused the accommodation offset
  • Used the wrong time periods for calculating pay.

The department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said that the majority of workers should have had their back pay by now and the money can be paid through any means, such as a cheque.

As well as paying the wages owed, the employers have also been fined an additional £1.97m.

Business Minister, Andrew Griffiths, said: “Our priority is making sure workers know their rights and are getting the pay they worked hard for. Employers who don’t do the right thing face fines as well as being hit with the bill for back pay.

“The UK’s lowest paid workers have had the fastest wage growth in 20 years thanks to the introduction of the National Living Wage and today’s list serves as a reminder to all employers to check they are getting their workers’ pay right.”

In the last five years, £10.8m in back pay has been identified for around 90,000 workers, with more than 1,900 employers fined a total of £8.4m.

Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage have to pay back arrears of wages to the worker at current minimum wage rates and face financial penalties of up to 200% of arrears, capped at £20,000 per worker.

If you think you might be being underpaid, see the government’s Check your pay site, or you can get advice from ACAS.