August 30, 2013 - Rachel Miller
Employers who fail to pay the National Minimum Wage (NMW) will be publicly named and shamed under revamped plans to make it easier to clamp down on rogue businesses.
Announced by employment relations minister Jo Swinson, the new rules are part of government efforts to toughen up enforcement of the National Minimum Wage and increase compliance.
The government plans to name more employers in the hope that bad publicity will be an additional deterrent to employers who would otherwise be tempted not to pay the NMW. This is on top of financial penalties that employers already face if they fail to pay the minimum wage.
The revised scheme will come into effect in October 2013. Under the original scheme, employers had to meet one of seven criteria before they could be named and shamed. The minimum amount of NMW owed to workers had to be at least £2,000 and the average per worker at least £500 before an employer could be named.
The revised scheme will remove these restrictions so that any employer who breaks minimum wage law can now be named. In 2012/13, HMRC identified 736 employers who had failed to pay the NMW, leading to the recovery of £3.9 million in unpaid wages for over 26,500 workers.
Jo Swinson said:"Paying less than the minimum wage is illegal. If employers break this law they need to know that we will take tough action. This gives a clear warning to rogue employers who ignore the rules, that they will face reputational consequences as well as a fine if they don't pay the minimum wage."
David Norgrove, chair of the Low Pay Commission, said: "These changes are welcome, and to name more employers who do not pay the minimum wage should encourage greater compliance and help the low paid."
Workers that aren't getting the minimum wage that they are legally entitled to should contact the Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368.