16 January 2015
The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) has “named and shamed” 37 employers who failed to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage.
Between them they owe workers a total of over £177,000 in arrears and have been charged financial penalties totalling over £51,000.
These are added to the 55 other employers named since the new regime, whereby it became simpler to name the law breakers, came into force in October 2013.
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.”
While the tougher approach to offenders is welcome, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady pointed out that the government has a long way to go with minimum wage enforcement: “It’s good to see the government getting tough on bad bosses who cheat hard working employees out of the pay that they are legally entitled to, but those named and shamed today are only the tip of the iceberg.
Ministers must also step up enforcement action with more prosecutions, higher fines and a bigger team of enforcement officers to catch the cheats.”
Last week we reported that the TUC had published a 10 point programme for better wage enforcement, available to read here. It highlights the need for collective bargaining in dealing with minimum wage issues. To find out more about collective bargaining, the IER’s Reconstruction After the Crisis: A Manifesto for Collective Bargaining is available for purchase.