Press release

Welsh Businesses named and shamed for underpaying Minimum Wage workers

10 employers in Wales among those named

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  • £1.1m identified for 9,200 workers underpaid minimum wage rates across the UK
  • 179 employers named UK wide and fined £1.3m after underpayment
  • Naming round comes before minimum wage rates rising on 1 April

The UK Government has today (9 March) named and shamed 182 UK employers – including 10 in Wales - for underpaying more than 9,000 minimum wage workers by £1.11 million.

In Wales 10 employers were named for underpaying 159 workers a total of £74,659. They were fined a total of £87,396.

As well as recovering backpay for 9.200 workers, the Government also fined the employers a total of £1.3 million in penalties for breaking national minimum wage laws. The most prolific offending sectors in this round were retailers, hospitality businesses and hairdressers.

It comes ahead of the next rate rise on 1 April, when the National Living Wage will go up from £7.50 to £7.83 per hour. Apprentices under the age of 19 and those in the first year of their apprenticeship will benefit from a record 5.7% rise.

Later this month the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will launch a campaign to raise awareness of the new rates and encourage workers to speak to their employer if they think they are being underpaid.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:

Every worker in the UK is entitled to at least the national minimum or living wage and the UK Government will ensure they get it.

That is why we have named and shamed these employers who failed to pay the legal minimum, sending the clear message to employers that minimum wage abuses will not go unpunished.

Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said:

The world of work is changing and we have set out our plans to give millions of workers enhanced rights to ensure everyone is paid and treated fairly in the workplace.

There are no excuses for short-changing workers. This is an absolute red line for this Government and employers who cross it will get caught - not only are they forced to pay back every penny but they are also fined up to 200% of wages owed.

Today’s naming round serves as a sharp reminder to employers to get their house in order ahead of minimum wage rate rises on 1 April.

Bryan Sanderson, Chairman of the Low Pay Commission, said:

As the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates rise on 1 April, it is vital that workers understand their rights, and employers their obligations.

The Low Pay Commission is pleased to see the Government maintaining the momentum of its minimum wage enforcement.

The recent announcement that all workers will have a right to payslips stating the hours they have worked – an idea originally proposed by the LPC – is a positive step.

This 14th naming round comes after the government published its Good Work plan last month, which announced the right to a payslip for all workers. The new law is likely to benefit around 300,000 UK workers who do not currently get a payslip.

For those paid by the hour, payslips will also have to include how many hours the worker is paid for, making pay easier to understand and challenge if it is wrong. The move is part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy the government’s long-term plan to build a Britain fit for the future by helping businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK.

Since 2013 the scheme has identified more than £9 million in back pay for around 67,000 workers, with more than 1,700 employers fined a total of £6.3 million. The Government has also committed £25.3m for minimum wage enforcement in 2017/18.

Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage not only have to pay back arrears of wages to the worker at current minimum wage rates but also face financial penalties of up to 200% of arrears, capped at £20,000 per worker.

For more information about your pay, or if you think you might be being underpaid, get advice and guidance at www.gov.uk/checkyourpay. Workers can also seek advice from workplace experts Acas.

NOTES TO EDITORS

The companies from Wales are:-

Name of Employer Company/Trading Name Partial Postcode Government Office Region (employer trading address) Local Authority (employer trading address)
Seashells Limited   LL29 Wales Conwy
Mr Akbor Miah Dil Indian Cuisine NP15 Wales Monmouthshire
Davies Security Limited   SA1 Wales Swansea
Oakfield Caravan Park Limited   LL18 Wales Denbighshire
A1 Care Services Limited   NP4 Wales Torfaen
SB Patel Ltd Porth Stores CF46 Wales Merthyr Tydfil
Arcadis Consulting (UK) Limited   CF3 Wales Cardiff
Bush House Pembroke Limited   SA71 Wales Pembrokeshire
Rainbow Brite Cleaning Services Limited   NP20 Wales Newport
NTCDucting.com Limited   SA7 Wales Swansea

Under this scheme the government will name all employers who 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 179 cases named today (9 March 2018) failed to pay the correct national minimum or living wage rates and owed arrears of more than £100.

Employers have 28 days to appeal 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, BEIS will consider them for naming. The employer then has 14 days to make representations to BEIS outlining whether they meet any of the exceptional criteria:

  • Naming by BEIS 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.

National Living and Minimum Wage rates:-

Date 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2017 £7.50 £7.05 £5.60 £4.05 £3.50
April 2018 £7.83 £7.38 £5.90 £4.20 £3.70

Low paying sectors across the UK:-

  • Hospitality: 43 employers named for underpaying 5,726 workers a total of £460,459
  • Hairdressing: 19 employers named for underpaying 152 workers a total of £43,938
  • Retail: 18 employers named for underpaying 85 workers a total of £27,332
Published 9 March 2018