Naming and shaming bad employers

On 1st October there will be some changes to the National Minimum Wage rates. All employers need to be aware of the new rates which are as follows:

£4 per hour (16 to 17 years old)
£5.55 per hour (18 to 20 years old)
£6.95 per hour (21 to 24 years old)
£7.20 per hour (25 and over)

The Government recently publicly named and shamed 198 companies who failed to pay the minimum wage to their employees. These companies owed a total of £466,219 in arrears and included football clubs, recruitment firms, care homes and hairdressers.

Top of the list was a London restaurant which owed almost £100,000 to 30 employees. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has confirmed to us that all the money owed had been paid back to the workers.

Remember that it is not only the employee that could make a claim if they are not being paid the National Minimum Wage. In addition, HMRC can pursue a criminal prosecution against employers who are suspected of flouting the National Minimum Wage law.

There are 6 criminal offences under the National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2016:

1. Employer refuses or wilfully neglects to pay minimum wage.
2. Employer fails to keep or preserve records.
3. Employer knowingly causes or allows false entry in records.
4. Employer produces or furnishes false records or information.
5. Employer intentionally delays or obstructs compliance officer.
6. Employer refuses or neglects to answer any questions or produce documents for a compliance officer.

The maximum fine for these offences is £20,000 per worker. Therefore to avoid a fine and criminal record, employers should check that their employees are being paid the National Minimum Wage and that appropriate pay records are being maintained.

Here at The Customer Service Blog we passionately believe that if employees are treated well, then there is much more chance that they will deliver exceptional service to the customer, and this is mentioned in several previous blog articles (see the June blog archive for details).

With this thought in mind, we might even start doing a bit of 'naming and shaming' ourselves. You have been warned!!