Record £2m back pay identified for 13,000 of the UK's lowest paid workers

More than 13,000 of the UK's lowest paid workers will get around £2m in back pay as part of the Government's scheme to name employers who have failed to pay National Minimum Wage and Living Wage.

Margot James. Image: HMRC
Margot James. Image: HMRC

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy today (16 August 2017) published a list of 233 businesses that underpaid workers.

Among the companies named are Yorkshire Grown Produce Limited, an East Yorkshire pepper and tomato grower, which failed to pay £257.64 to 2 workers. YGP was contacted for comment.

As well as paying back staff the money owed, employers on the list have been fined a record £1.9m by the government. Retail, hairdressing and hospitality businesses were among the most prolific offenders.

Since 2013, the scheme has identified £6m back pay for 40,000 workers, with 1,200 employers fined £4m.

Business Minister Margot James said: "It is against the law to pay workers less than legal minimum wage rates, short-changing ordinary working people and undercutting honest employers.

"Today’s naming round identifies a record £2m of back pay for workers and sends the clear message to employers that the government will come down hard on those who break the law."

Common errors made by employers in this round included deducting money from pay packets to pay for uniforms, failure to account for overtime hours, and wrongly paying apprentice rates to workers.

Melissa Tatton, director at HM Revenue and Customs said: "HMRC is committed to getting money back into the pockets of underpaid workers, and continues to crack down on employers who ignore the law."

There are around 2,000 open cases which HMRC is investigating. Eligible employers will be named and shamed after their cases have been closed.

The Government has committed £25.3m for minimum wage enforcement in 2017/18, as well as a £1.7m awareness campaign earlier this year.

"Those not paying workers the National Minimum or Living Wage can expect to face the consequences."

Official advice is here.

 


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