48 companies are guilty of paying employees below the minimum wage according to a government report.

Business Minister Jo Swinson has named 48 employers who have failed to pay their employees the National Minimum wage, which include Toni & Guy and the 99p store. A thorough investigation of the businesses was conducted by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Between the companies a total of £162,000 is owed to employees in arrears, with sectors including fashion, retail, publishing, hospitality, health and fitness, automotive and care.

Business Minister Jo Swinson says:

“There’s no excuse for companies that don’t pay staff the wages they’re entitled to – whether by wilfully breaking the law, or making irresponsible mistakes. The government is protecting workers by cracking down on employers who ignore minimum wage rules. In addition to naming and shaming, we’ve increased the penalty fines and boosted the resources available to investigate non-compliance.”

This latest round brings the total number to 210 employers who have been named and shamed. With total arrears over £635,000 and total penalties over £248,000. The scheme was revised in October 2013 to make it easier to name and shame employers who do not comply with minimum wage rules and regulations.

In a report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), their findings suggest that an increase in the National Minimum wage has increased labour costs across low-paying firms. However, there is no strong evidence to suggest that overall employment was affected or that low paying businesses were more likely to close down. These low-paying businesses responded by increasing the productivity of their workers.