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Record number of employers named and shamed for underpaying

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has named 359 businesses who underpaid 15,513 workers a total of £994,685.

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Employers in the hairdressing, hospitality and retail sectors were the most prolific offenders.


As well as recovering arrears for some of the UK’s lowest paid workers, HMRC issued penalties worth around £800,000.


One of the highest-profile offenders was Debenhams Retail plc, which failed to pay £134,894.83 to 11,858 workers.


For the first time, the naming list includes employers who failed to pay eligible workers at least the new National Living Wage rate, which is currently £7.20 for workers aged 25 and over.


Business minister Margot James said:


“Every worker in the UK is entitled to at least the National Minimum or National Living Wage and this government will ensure they get it.


“That is why we have named and shamed more than 350 employers who failed to pay the legal minimum, sending the clear message to employers that minimum wage abuses will not go unpunished.”


Excuses for underpaying workers included using tips to top up pay, docking workers’ wages to pay for their Christmas party and making staff pay for their own uniforms out of their salary.

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