The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have recently reported that 191 employers had underpaid their staff. From 2011 to 2018, HMRC found that the breach of national minimum wage law resulted in over 34,000 workers being denied a total of £2.1 million from their employers.
John Lewis had the largest underpayment to their workforce, totalling £941,355.67 to 19,392 of their staff. The Body Shop, Pret A Manger and numerous football clubs were also named for their underpayments.
Following the announcement by BEIS, all employers named on the list have paid back what their staff were owed and have been fined £3.2 million.
Employers may not intentionally underpay their staff. For example, the employers named by BEIS made underpayments for reasons including:
- Incorrect deductions from wages, including uniforms and expenses
- Not paying staff for their time spent working, including overtime
- Paying the wrong apprenticeship rate
This serves as a reminder to employers to ensure they comply with their legal responsibilities and uphold workers’ rights.