The list includes well-known names such as Tesco, Superdrug and Pizza Hut.
The Government have released a list of over 100 employers that have failed to pay their employees the National Minimum Wage, amounting to £6.7 million not being paid out in total.
This is a continuation of a scheme that the Government introduced in 2013 which was intended to “name and shame” employers who did not pay staff according to the legal requirements.
However, this time, the criteria for naming employers was relaxed. Previously, any employer who owed arrears of over £100 was named but this has now been changed to £500. This alteration means that businesses that do not comply with rules due to “minimal sums” will have a chance to correct any errors before being named.
In the most recent findings, Tesco failed to pay over £5 million worth of National Minimum Wage to 78,199 workers. This was something that the supermarket attributed to a “technical issue” and claimed that it reported this error to HMRC when it occurred in 2017.
Furthermore, Pizza Hut owed £845, 936 to 10,980 employees. Superdrug also failed to pay £15,228 to 2222 workers. However, overall, 139 different employers were exposed for failing to pay staff correctly between 2016 and 2018.
Employee salary may have fallen short due to workers being forced to pay for work uniforms, parking or training fees.
From April 2021, the National Minimum Wage for those aged 23 or over will increase to £8.91 from previously standing at £8.72. Many businesses also did not change employees’ wage despite workers aging into a different bracket with higher pay, meaning some did not receive the correct National Minimum Wage in accordance with their age.
Paul Scully, Business Minister, reflected on these findings:
Paying the minimum wage is not optional, it is the law. It is never acceptable for any employer to short-change their workers, but it is especially disappointing to see huge household names who absolutely should know better on this list.
The Government also announced that this scheme would entail providing more support to employers regarding the National Minimum Wage. This would mean offer help through their website and a designated helpline. It additionally stated that it would proactively support small businesses and allow them to get their practises right from the start.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said:
It’s a national scandal that so many workers, many of whom are key workers, aren’t being paid the minimum wage.
Many of those who fail to pay their workers the minimum wage won’t be named today. The Government raised the threshold for naming employers compared with the old scheme, meaning fewer bad bosses are exposed.