Press release

Welsh businesses named and shamed for underpaying minimum wage workers

Record 22,400 minimum wage workers UK wide to receive millions in backpay after underpayment by employers

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  • Nearly 240 employers who underpaid the National Living and Minimum Wage named today – 14 from Wales
  • £1.44m in back pay has been identified for 22,400 workers, with the employers fined additional £1.97m
  • Employers underpaid workers by taking deductions from wages for uniforms, underpaying apprentices and failing to pay travel time

The names of 239 employers found to have underpaid 22,400 UK workers by a total of £1.44m have been published today by the UK Government.

The total includes 14 employers from Wales, affecting 64 workers who will now receive back pay totalling over £20,500.

The back pay identified by HMRC was for more workers UK wide than in any previous single naming list and has generated record fines of £1.97m.

The earliest underpayment dated back to 2011, with the most recent happening this year (2018).

The Wales based companies included in today’s list are:

  1. Lyons Holiday Park Limited, Denbighshire LL18, failed to pay £7,321.01 to 12 workers, with average arrears of £610.08 per worker
  2. Nick’s 76 Services Limited, trading as Nick’s Car Wash, Conwy LL22, failed to pay £3,601.20 to 3 workers, with average arrears of £1,200.40 per worker
  3. Accent on Education Limited, Newport NP20, failed to pay £2,293.23 to 9 workers, with average arrears of £254.80 per worker
  4. Aingarth Rest Home Limited, Conwy LL28, failed to pay £1,836.60 to 9 workers, with average arrears of £204.07 per worker
  5. Mr Stuart Rooke, trading as S R Motors, Carmarthenshire SA39, failed to pay £1,762.43 to 1 worker, with average arrears of £1,762.43 per worker
  6. Mansion House Llansteffan Ltd, Carmarthenshire SA33, failed to pay £1,087.13 to 2 workers, with average arrears of £543.57 per worker
  7. Mrs Meyanee Homnan, trading as Sew 4 Sure, Swansea SA1, failed to pay £616.36 to 2 workers, with average arrears of £308.18 per worker
  8. Restaurant James Sommerin Limited, trading as Restaurant James Sommerin, Vale of Glamorgan CF64, failed to pay £487.57 to 1 worker, with average arrears of £487.57 per worker
  9. Mr Nicholas James Chan, trading as Riverside Cantonese Restaurant, Cardiff CF11, failed to pay £346.39 to 8 workers, with average arrears of £43.3 per worker
  10. Miss Linda Dykes, trading as Diamond Cleaning (What Can Shine Will Shine), Conwy LL22, failed to pay £294.17 to 11 workers, with average arrears of £26.74 per worker
  11. Mr Piotr Antoni Zielinski, trading as Max Polish Shop, Carmarthenshire SA40, failed to pay £285.04 to 3 workers, with average arrears of £95.01 per worker
  12. G.Williams & Son (Butchers) Limited , Gwynedd LL57, failed to pay £257.82 to 1 worker, with average arrears of £257.82 per worker
  13. The New Sandon Garage Limited, Cardiff CF24, failed to pay £220.73 to 1 worker, with average arrears of £220.73 per worker
  14. Owens (Road Services) Limited, Carmarthenshire SA14, failed to pay £112.50 to 1 worker, with average arrears of £112.50 per worker

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns 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.

Thanks to the UK Government investigations hundreds of Wales’ lowest paid workers are being back paid every year, as we continue to build a Wales, and wider United Kingdom, that works for everyone.

Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said:

Our priority is making sure workers know their rights and are getting the pay they worked hard for. Employers who don’t do the right thing face fines as well as being hit with the bill for backpay.

The UK’s lowest paid workers have had the fastest wage growth in 20 years thanks to the introduction of the National Living Wage and today’s list serves as a reminder to all employers to check they are getting their workers’ pay right.

The top 5 reasons for National Minimum and Living Wage underpayments in this round were:

  • taking deductions from wages for costs such as uniforms
  • underpaying apprentices
  • failing to pay travel time
  • misusing the accommodation offset
  • using the wrong time periods for calculating pay

Low Pay Commission Chairman Bryan Sanderson said:

It is crucial that employers understand their responsibilities and workers know their rights around the minimum wage. That is why active enforcement and effective communication from Government is so important.

It is therefore encouraging to see that HMRC has recovered unpaid wages for the largest number of workers yet in this round of naming and shaming. I’m confident that the Government will continue to pursue underpayment of the minimum wage vigorously.

Funding for minimum wage enforcement has more than doubled since 2015, with the government set to spend £26.3m in 2018/19.

The scheme is in its fifth year and calls out employers who have fallen foul of minimum wage laws, so far identifying £10.8m in back pay for around 90,000 workers, with more than 1,900 employers fined a total of £8.4m. HMRC has launched a series of webinars, available on GOV.UK, to help employers check that they are complying with the law.

The government is currently running a campaign to raise awareness of the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates, which increased on 1 April 2018, as well as encouraging workers who have been underpaid to complain to HMRC. The campaign website has had more than 600,000 visits since the campaign kicked off on 1 April.

Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage have to pay back arrears of wages to the worker at current minimum wage rates and 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 here. Workers can also seek advice from workplace experts Acas.

NOTES TO EDITORS

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 239 cases named today 6 July 18 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.
Date Age 25 and over 21 - 24 18 - 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2018 £7.83 £7.38 £5.90 £4.20 £3.70

Low paying sectors

  • Hospitality – 56
  • Retail – 30
  • Social care – 22
  • Cleaning and maintenance – 19
  • Leisure, travel and sport 15

Employers named in each regions

  • London – 40
  • East Midlands – 27
  • Scotland – 26
  • North West – 25
  • Yorkshire and the Humber – 24
  • South East – 24
  • West Midlands – 22
  • South West – 14
  • Wales – 14
  • Northern Ireland – 11
  • North East – 6
  • East of England – 6
Published 6 July 2018