National Minimum Wages offenders named and shamed

Employers who have failed to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage (NMW) have been named and shamed.

Between them the 113 companies named owed workers over £387,000 in arrears, and span sectors including hairdressing, retail, education, catering and social care. Since the scheme was introduced in October 2013, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has named and shamed 398 employers, with total arrears of over £1,179,000 and total penalties of over £511,000. The worst of the recent offenders was Monsoon Accessorize who neglected to pay £104,507.83 to 1438 workers.

Employers have a duty to be aware of the different legal rates for NMW. There are currently different rates of NMW for four different categories of worker:

  • Standard (adult) rate: £6.70 per hour for workers aged 21 or over (there is no upper age limit)
  • Development rate: £5.30 per hour for workers aged between 18 and 20 inclusive
  • Apprentice rate: £3.30 per hour for apprentices under 19 years of age or those aged 19 and over but in the first year of their apprenticeship
  • Young workers rate: £3.87 per hour for workers aged under 18 but above the compulsory school age that are not apprentices

The government is committed to increasing compliance with the NMW legislation and effective enforcement of it. Everyone who is entitled to the NMW should receive it. Employers who pay workers less than the NMW not only have to pay back arrears of wages at current NMW rates but also face financial penalties of up to £20,000. In the most serious cases employers can be prosecuted.

From April 2016, the government will introduce a new mandatory National Living Wage (NLW) for workers aged 25 and above initially set at £7.20- a rise of 50p relative to the current NMW.  This will provide a £910 per annum increase in earnings for a full-time worker on the current NMW. The NMW will continue to apply for those aged 21 to 24, with the premium added on top for those aged 25 and over, taking the total hourly rate to the National Living Wage rate.

If you have any questions on content of this article or you have any other HR/ employment law questions, please do not hesitate to contact our HR/ employment law solicitor Claire Berry on 01480 442040 or email claire.berry@leedsday.co.uk


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