Employers 'shamed' over low wages


Low-paying firms are a disgrace

Five employers who owe over a total of £6,800 in arrears to workers have been "named and shamed" under a clampdown on firms which refuse to pay the national minimum wage.

The Government said it was a "clear warning" to employers, but unions said more should be done to enforce the statutory rate.

The five employers, from Macclesfield, Manchester, Edinburgh, Middlesbrough and Carmarthen "neglected" to pay amounts ranging from £225 to £1,700.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Paying less than the minimum wage is illegal. If employers break the law they need to know that they will face tough consequences.

"We know that people are put off using a business service if it is found guilty of not paying its workers the minimum wage. This is a clear warning to employers: you will damage your reputation and face a stiff penalty, if you don't pay the minimum wage.

"Any worker who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it. It's not only fair, it's the law. If anyone suspects they are not being paid the wage they are legally entitled to they should call the pay and work rights helpline."

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "It's good to see the Government naming and shaming these minimum wage dodgers. This should provide a strong disincentive to other rogue companies contemplating breaking the law.

"However, all of those named so far have been small businesses who've underpaid a couple of members of staff. There are companies out there who are cheating hundreds of staff out of a legal minimum wage. These are the biggest offenders and their pay crimes must be made public too.

"This is a welcome start towards a more transparent enforcement of the legal minimum wage and we urge ministers to expose many more dishonest employers in the coming months."

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills said:
  • Peter Oakes of Peter Oakes Ltd, Macclesfield, neglected to pay £3,619.70 to two workers;
  • Lisa Maria Cathcart of Salon Sienna, Manchester, neglected to pay £1,760.48 to a worker.
  • Mohammed Yamin of Minto Guest House, Edinburgh, neglected to pay £808.56 to a worker.
  • Anne Henderson of Chambers Hairdressers, Middlesbrough, neglected to pay £452.22 to a worker.
  • Ruzi Ruzyyev, a car wash operator in Carmarthen, neglected to pay £225.38 to a worker.