Minimum wage scandal: 139 employers fail to pay required amounts ahead of rate increase

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Rishi Sunak recently laid out plans for pay rises in the UK, with the new rates set to be enforced from April 20. According to the government, around two million of the UK’s earners will benefit from the state’s .

From April 2021, the hourly rates thresholds for the UK’s National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage will be as follows:

  • National Living Wage (23+) to increase 2.2 percent to £8.91
  • National Minimum Wage (21-22) to increase two percent to £8.36
  • National Minimum Wage (18-20) to increase 1.7 percent to £6.56
  • National Minimum Wage (under 18) to increase 1.5 percent to £4.62
  • Apprenticeship Wage to increase 3.6 percent to £4.30

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However, new data from the government released today revealed that thousands of employees could miss out on these increases if history is to repeat itself, at least temporarily.

Today, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy “named and shamed” nearly 140 companies who failed to pay their workers the minimum wage.

Between 2016 and 2018, 139 named companies failed to pay £6.7million to over 95,000 workers in total.

The offending companies ranged in size from small businesses to large multinationals.

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The full list of companies can be found on the government’s website but it includes some of the UKs biggest employers, including Tesco, Pizza Hut and Superdrug.

Paul Scully, the Business Minister, commented on the findings: “Paying the minimum wage is not optional, it is the law.

“It is never acceptable for any employer to short-change their workers, but it is especially disappointing to see huge household names who absolutely should know better on this list.

“This should serve as a wake-up call to named employers and a reminder to everyone of the importance of paying workers what they are legally entitled to.

“Make no mistake, those who fail to follow minimum wage rules will be caught out and made to pay up.”

Bryan Sanderson, the Chair of the Low Pay Commission, also commented on the shocking figures: “There can be no excuses for non-compliance with the minimum wage rates.

“The annual changes are well publicised six months in advance following a well understood process.

“Those affected are among the most needy and vulnerable in our country – the companies concerned should be deeply ashamed of their performance.”

The current rates are as follows:

  • 25 and over – £8.72
  • 21 to 24 – £8.20
  • 18 to 20 – £6.45
  • Under 18 – £4.55
  • Apprentice – £4.15

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