fined for minimum wage error

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Luxury retailer has been named by the government for failing to pay two of its workers the national minimum wage as part of a list of 70 employers.

The ‘naming and shaming’ comes a day after the Low Pay Commission made its recommendation that the adult national minimum wage rate should be increased by 3 percent, from 6.50 to 6.70 pounds an hour.

The government states that, which operates online and via four stores in London, “neglected” to pay 375.61 pounds to two of its workers and for the error the retailer was fined 93 pounds.

“Like many companies, we started conducting our own inspection early last year, collating information from across the company. We alerted both employees to the administrative error [they were unaware], repaid the amounts owing and voluntarily alerted HMRC,” said in a statement to Drapers.

“When informing HMRC we also sent proof of payment, along with all records necessary to enable them to verify our corrections. In September 2014, HMRC wrote to confirm that they had finished their checks and that these were the only two employees that had been underpaid and that they understood that this error had been rectified.” ‘named and shamed’ for under paying two employees

Announced by business minister Jo Swinson, the list states that between the 70 employers, which the government claims were thoroughly investigated by HM Revenue and Customs, they owed workers a total of 157,000 pounds in arrears and have been charged financial penalties totalling over 70,000 pounds. This is the government’s second such list, the first in October 2013 named 92 employers.

Swinson commented: “Paying less than the minimum wage is illegal, immoral and completely unacceptable. Naming and shaming gives a clear warning to employers who ignore the rules, that they will face reputational consequences as well as financial penalties of up to £20,000 if they don’t pay the minimum wage.”

Care and support minister Norman Lamb added: “We want a fairer society where everyone gets the care they deserve - to do this we need a skilled, valued and fairly paid workforce. There is absolutely no excuse for employers that fail to pay the minimum wage.”