Apprentices were among the workers to have suffered at the hands of underpaying bosses listed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skill (BIS) in its second name and shame round over minimum wage cheats.
Business Minister Jenny Willott identified 25 employers (see below) who paid workers less than the National Minimum Wage (NMW) — and more than one of the firms was named in relation to underpaying apprentices.
Between all of those identified, they owe workers more than £43,000 in arrears and in addition now have to pay financial penalties totalling more than £21,000.
A BIS spokesperson refused to say which of the employers had underpaid apprentices and would not give the exact number of employers, out of the 25, that had offended over concerns the learners themselves might be identified.
Ms Willott said: “Paying less than the minimum wage is not only wrong, it’s illegal. If employers break the law they need to know that they will face tough consequences.
“Any worker who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it. If anyone suspects they are not being paid the wage they are legally entitled to they should call the Pay and Work Rights helpline on 0800 917 2368.”
The apprentice minimum wage currently stands at £2.68 an-hour, but is due to rise 5p (2 per cent) from October.
As well as being publicly named and shamed, employers that fail to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage also face new penalties of up to £20,000 — four times higher than before.
The government revised the naming and shaming scheme from October to make it simpler to identify employers who break the law. It can now name all employers that have been issued with a notice of underpayment unless employers meet one of the exceptional criteria or have arrears of £100 or less.
The government also wants offending bosses to be given penalties of up to £20,000 for each individual worker they have underpaid, rather than the maximum penalty applying to each employer.
At least one employer out of the five in the first round of minimum wage cheat naming and shaming, in February, had underpaid on the apprentice NMW.
The BIS spokesperson said: “We do not disclose information on the identity or status of the workers.”
The 25 underpaying employers named by BIS this month were —
- Christine Cadden and Nicola Banks of Renaissance, Wirral, neglected to pay £7310.65 to three workers
- Alan King and John King of Arthur Simpson & Co, Bradford, neglected to pay £6426.12 to a worker
- Central Heating Services Ltd, Hampshire, neglected to pay £6200.28 to four workers
- Cargilfield School Ltd, Edinburgh, neglected to pay £3739.58 to a worker
- A2ZEE Constriction Ltd, Cramlington, neglected to pay £3375.51 to 14 workers
- Mr and Mrs Balasco of Eugenio, Bristol, neglected to pay £3037.53 to two workers
- Mr and Mrs Hampton of The Wheatsheaf Inn, Cheshire, neglected to pay £2057.88 to five workers
- Steven Stainton of Steven Stainton Joinery, Cumbria, neglected to pay £1415.82 to a worker
- Runbaro Ltd, Swindon, neglected to pay £1413.88 to a worker
- Satwinder Singh Khatter and Tejinder Singh Khatter of The Bath Hotel, Reading, neglected to pay £1237.79 to two workers
- Richard Last of Classic Carpentry, Godalming, neglected to pay £1236.72 to a worker
- We are Mop! Ltd, London, neglected to pay £1018.05 to two workers
- Mrs Sue English of Legends Hairdressers, Colchester, neglected to pay £823.40 to a worker
- Saftdwin Ltd, Hampshire, neglected to pay £806.37 to two workers
- Master Distribution Ltd, Essex, neglected to pay £718.62 to a worker
- Perth Hotels Ltd, Perth, neglected to pay £556.80 to a worker
- Bryants Nurseries Ltd, Hertfordshire, neglected to pay £494.07 to a worker
- Dove Mill Retail Outlet Ltd, Bolton, neglected to pay £461.84 to a worker
- Luigi’s Little Italy Ltd, Yorkshire, neglected to pay £281.04 to five workers
- CPS SW Ltd, Exmouth, neglected to pay £261.29 to a worker
- Mr Gary Calder, Mr Richard Calder and Mr Neil Calder of Avenue Agricultural, Northamptonshire, neglected to pay £256.55 to a worker
- Dakal Ltd, Northampton, neglected to pay £252.00 to two workers
- Zoom Ltd, Havant, neglected to pay £242.28 to three workers
- HSS Hire Service Group Ltd, Manchester, neglected to pay £149.00 to 15 workers
- Sun Shack Ltd, Hamilton, neglected to pay £134.35 to eight workers