The Government has released its latest name and shame list of employers who are failing to pay staff the National Minimum Wage.
209 employers made the list including one company that underpaid eight workers by almost £30,000. Many of the companies are repeat offenders, and range from multinational businesses and large high street names to SMEs and sole traders, in a clear message that no employer is exempt from paying their workers the statutory minimum wage.
Underpaying staff isn’t always a purposeful act; sometimes it can be a genuine mistake, but that doesn’t make it okay.
Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula says: “Getting NMW calculations wrong can lead to costly pay-outs and severe reputational damage. The relaunch of the government’s naming and shaming scheme in 2020 means businesses are under more scrutiny than ever to get this right.
“Given the complexity of minimum wage regulations, it’s beneficial for organisations to pro-actively undertake regular audits, to identify any mistakes or concerns and make the necessary adjustments without involvement from HMRC.
“Paying staff correctly is fundamental in ensuring a positive company culture, and protecting motivation, productivity and retention levels across the workforce.
“The recurring reasons for falling foul of minimum wage payments is employers’ failure to take into to consideration the costs employees incur when required to purchase a work uniform. For example, many hospitality settings require their staff to wear a white top and black trousers to work.
“This request means any reasonable expenditure in connection with the employment should be reimbursed by the organisation, since an employee’s take home pay is essentially automatically spent on buying their mandatory uniform.
“Any expense incurred in connection with employment should not cause an employee’s pay to fall below the national minimum wage, regardless of whether the expense was a choice or if alternative options were available.”