Record number of businesses underpaying workers, official figures show

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published a list naming 360 businesses who have underpaid 15,520 workers a total of £995,233.

The list included 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.

Of the 360 employers identified on the list, the top three business named were: Debenhams Retail plc, London NW1, which failed to pay £134,894.83 to 11,858 workers; Pembrokeshire Care Limited, Haverfordwest SA61, which failed to pay £55,056.75 to 154 workers; and Mr Lorenzo Berni trading as Osteria
San Lorenzo, London SW3, which failed to pay £53,496.57 to 29 workers.

Business Minister Margot James said: “Every worker in the UK is entitled to at least the national minimum or 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.”

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP commented: “The National Living and Minimum Wage, which every worker is entitled to, is an essential part of building the higher wage, lower welfare, lower tax society that the UK needs.

“Thanks to government investigations more than 15 and a half thousand of the UK’s lowest paid workers are to be back paid as we continue to build a Northern Ireland, and wider United Kingdom, that works for everyone.”

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