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Record £2m back pay identified for UK’s lowest paid workers

Some 233 employers have been named and shamed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for underpaying their workers the National Minimum or Living Wage.

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Argos Limited was the biggest offender, failing to pay £1,461,881.78 to 12,176 workers.

 

More than 13,000 of the UK’s lowest paid workers will get around £2m in back pay as part of the government’s naming and shaming strategy.

 

As well as paying back staff the money owed, employers on the list have been fined a record £1.9m by the government. Retail, hairdressing and hospitality businesses were among the most prolific offenders.

 

Since 2013, the scheme has identified £6m back pay for 40,000 workers, with 1,200 employers fined £4m.

Business minister Margot James said: "It is against the law to pay workers less than legal minimum wage rates, short-changing ordinary working people and undercutting honest employers.

 

"This naming round identifies a record £2m of back pay for workers and sends the clear message to employers that the government will come down hard on those who break the law."

 

Common errors made by employers in this round included deducting money from pay packets to pay for uniforms, failure to account for overtime hours, and wrongly paying apprentice rates to workers.

 

Melissa Tatton, director at HMRC, said: "HMRC is committed to getting money back into the pockets of underpaid workers, and continues to crack down on employers who ignore the law.

 

"Those not paying workers the National Minimum or Living Wage can expect to face the consequences."

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