Government names and shames 37 National Minimum Wage offenders
Business Minister Jo Swinson has today named another 37 employers failing to pay National Minimum Wage. This is in addition to a previous naming of 55 employers since October 2013.
These employers owe their employees £177,000 in wages and have been fined just over £51,000. Hardly a deterrent. The TUC claims 250,000 workers are paid less than the minimum wage.
Of particular interest is the lack of prosecution of employers flouting the National Minimum Wage. The National Minimum Wage Act 1998 came into force on 1st April 1999 – approximately 15 years ago. There has been enough time for employers to realise this wasn’t an April Fools prank.
Today, the National Minimum Wage is circumvented by workfare, unpaid internships and bogus apprenticeships paying a heavily reduced NMW rate. Something Ipswich Unemployed Action and many other groups are highlighting for many years.
We want a living wage –millions of families struggle to pay the bills, put food on the table and heat their homes… and many of these are those who work. Employers need to be fairer. Feel free to boycott employers who think they are above the minimum wage! Without further ado…
Full Press Release
A further 37 employers who failed to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage have been named today (15 January 2015) by Business Minister Jo Swinson.
Between them they owe workers a total of over £177,000 in arrears and have been charged financial penalties totalling over £51,000.
The government has already named 55 employers since the new naming regime came into force in October 2013. They had total arrears of over £139,000 and total penalties of over £60,000.
Due to the importance the government places on compliance and enforcement, HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) National Minimum Wage enforcement budget will be increased by a further £3 million in financial year 2015 to 2016 – taking the total to £12.2 million. The extra money will go towards increasing the number of HMRC compliance officers to identify businesses that exploit their workers by paying them below the National Minimum Wage.
Business Minister Jo Swinson said:
Paying less than the minimum wage is illegal, immoral and completely unacceptable. If employers break this law they need to know that we will take tough action by naming, shaming and fining them as well as helping workers recover the hundreds of thousands of pounds in pay owed to them.
We are also looking at what more we can do to make sure workers are paid fairly in the first place. As well as being publicly named and shamed, employers that fail to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage face penalties of up to £20,000. We are legislating through the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill so that this penalty can be applied to each underpaid worker rather than per employer.
The 37 employers are:
- Kings Group LLP, Hertfordshire, neglected to pay £53,808.91 to 53 workers
- Kings Group Lettings LLP, Hertfordshire, neglected to pay £26,893.43 to 49 workers
- Chi Yip Group Ltd, Middleton, neglected to pay £15,566.78 to 13 workers
- Kingsclere Nurseries Ltd trading as Abacus Day Nursery, Newbury, neglected to pay £12,904.19 to 8 workers.
- Ms Thap Thi Ly trading as Sweet N Sour, Fleetwood, neglected to pay £11,039.14 to 2 workers
- Michael Kearney trading as Electrical Estimates, Ceredigion, neglected to pay £5,557.91 to 4 workers
- ABC Early Learning and Childcare Centre UK Ltd, Wolverhampton, neglected to pay £5,329.25 to 68 workers
- C J Hartley Ltd trading as Headwork, Sheffield, neglected to pay £4,762.64 to 4 workers
- Mrs Kelly Jayne Lockley trading as Diva Hair Design, Walsall, neglected to pay £4,103.65 to a worker
- Browncow Tanning Ltd trading as Fake Bake Hair & Beauty Boutique, Glasgow, neglected to pay £3,406.66 to 2 workers
- J Wood Joiners & Builders Ltd, Edinburgh, neglected to pay £3,373.19 to 4 workers
- Louise Ross Trading as Luxe Salon, Leeds, neglected to pay £3,368.13 to a worker
- H&M Hennes & Mauritz UK Ltd, London, neglected to pay £2,604.87 to 540 workers
- Building Projects Ltd, Dundee, neglected to pay £2,345.85 to 3 workers
- David A Farrer Ltd, Morecambe, neglected to pay £2,261.00 to a worker
- Julian’s Hair Salon Ltd, Newbury, neglected to pay £2,131.35 to a worker
- Motorists Discount Store Ltd trading as TMS Autoparts, Manchester, neglected to pay £2,025.19 to a worker
- Ms Dawn Platts trading as Level 2 Hair Studio, Barnsley, neglected to pay £1,186.89 to a worker
- Myers and Family Ltd, Wakefield, neglected to pay £1.598.82 to a worker
- Welcome Break Holdings Ltd, Newport Pagnell, neglected to pay £1,318.70 to 19 workers
- Callum Austin Ltd trading as Jason Austin Hairdressers, Kettering, neglected to pay £1,899.66 to 2 workers
- Mrs Karen Riley Trading as Crave, Preston, neglected to pay £1,179.09 to 7 workers
- RPM Performance Rally World Ltd, Maldon, neglected to pay £998.71 to a worker
- Ego Hair & Beauty (Anglia) Ltd, Colchester, neglected to pay £985.55 to a worker
- Mr Jinit Shah trading as Crystal Financial Solutions, Middlesex, neglected to pay £941.65 to a worker
- Counted4 Community Interest Company, Sunderland, neglected to pay £930.73 to a worker
- HAE Automotive Services Ltd, Harrogate (ceased trading), neglected to pay £798.16 to a worker
- Vision on Digital Ltd, Ossett, neglected to pay £683.86 to a worker
- Ultimate Care UK Ltd, Ipswich, neglected to pay £613.79 to 7 workers
- Century Motors (Sheffield) Ltd, Sheffield, neglected to pay £571.72 to a worker
- Mr D Eastwell & Mr G Brinkler trading as The Salon, Letchworth Garden City, neglected to pay £409.85 to a worker
- Rumble (Bedworth) Ltd, Nuneaton, neglected to pay £404.41 to a worker
- Shannons Ltd, Worthing neglected to pay £313.76 to a worker
- Holmes Cleaning Company, Worksop neglected to pay £240.48 to a worker
- Learnplay Foundation Ltd, West Bromwich, neglected to pay £224.73 to a worker
- Adrien Mackenzie trading as Maverick Models, Manchester, neglected to pay £205.52 to a worker
- QW Security Ltd, Hartlepool, neglected to pay £126.20 to a worker
The 37 cases named today were thoroughly investigated by HM Revenue and Customs after workers made complaints to the free and confidential Pay and Work Rights Helpline.
The scheme was revised in October 2013 to make it simpler to name and shame employers that do not comply with minimum wage rules.
Notes to editors
1.Employers have a duty to be aware of the different legal rates for the National Minimum Wage.
The current National Minimum Wage rates are:
- Adult rate (21 and over) – £6.50 per hour
- 18 to 20 year olds – £5.13 per hour
- 16 to 17 year olds – £3.79 per hour
- Apprentice rate – £2.73 per hour
The apprentice rate applies to apprentices aged 16 to 18 years old and those aged 19 and over who are in their first year. All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage rate for their age.
2.The government is committed to increasing compliance with minimum wage legislation and effective enforcement of it. Everyone who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it. The BIS scheme to name employers who break minimum wage law came into effect on 1 January 2011. The scheme is one of a range of tools at the government’s disposal to tackle this issue. Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage not only have to pay back arrears of wages at current minimum wage rates but also face financial penalties of up to £20,000. In the most serious cases employers can be prosecuted.
3.From 1 October 2013 the government revised the naming scheme to make it simpler to name and shame employers who break the law. Under this scheme the government will name all employers that have been issued with a Notice of Underpayment (NoU) unless employers meet one of the exceptional criteria or have arrears of £100 or less. All 37 cases named today failed to pay the national minimum wage and have arrears of over £100.
4.Employers have 28 days to appeal to HMRC against the NoU (this notice sets out the owed wages to be paid by the employer together with the penalty for not complying with minimum wage law). If the employer does not appeal or unsuccessfully appeals against this NoU, BIS will consider them for naming. The employer then has 14 days to make representations to BIS outlining whether they meet any of the exceptional criteria:
- naming by BIS carries a risk of personal harm to an individual or their family
- there are national security risks associated with naming in this instance
- other factors which suggest that it would not be in the public interest to name the employer (employer to provide details)
If BIS do not receive any representations or the representations received are unsuccessful, the employer will be named via a BIS press release under this scheme.
5.Further information about the revised BIS NMW naming scheme can be found in Enforcing national minimum wage law.
There is a big high street brand, various hairdressers, some local businesses (in respect to Ipswich area), one that ceased trading, a CIC, a non-profit and surprisingly a lot of sole traders who have in effect been personally named and shamed (unlike hiding behind a company).
Comments are welcome (as always)!