The current National Minimum Wage rate was set in place on the 1st of October 2015 and will be updated again on the 1st of October 2016. Currently the National Minimum Wage rates are;
• Employees of the age 21 and over: £6.70 per hour.
• Development rate for employees aged between 18 and 20: £5.30 per hour.
• Young employees rate for employees aged between 16 and 17: £3.87 per hour.
• Apprentices under the age of 19, or over the age of 19 and in first year of the apprenticeship: £3.30 per hour.
So how many employers have been most recently identified as not paying at least the above national minimum wage rates to their employees? A total of 197. Between them the companies owed a total of £465,291 to employees. That’s quite a sum. Interestingly, the employers are not constricted to any one industry only and span many industries from hairdressers to hotels.
These employers that have not paid some or all of their employees at least the current national minimum wage for their age have been named and shamed on the official Gov.UK website.
Since the scheme was started all the way back in October 2013, a total of 687 employers have been named and shamed officially, with total arrears hitting more than three and a half million pounds. Not an insignificant sum at all.
Margot James, the Business Minister has recently stated that it’s unacceptable that “some employers fail to pay at least the minimum wage” and that there will be a “crack down on those who ignore the law” which includes “naming and shaming”.
The UK government has made it clear that it is the employers responsibility to be aware of the different minimum wage rates depending on their workers age and circumstances and to ensure that all their workers are paid at least the national minimum wage according to the law. In short, employers saying they didn’t know the legal minimum wage rate thus didn’t pay it is no excuse.
The effect naming and shaming these companies has had on their behaviour and on the behaviour of other companies is yet to be examined, however, it can be theorised that at
least some of the companies that have been named and shamed thus far have since met their legal requirements with regards to the national minimum wage as a result of them being named and shamed which can only be a good thing for the employees of these companies.
If you would like to find out more about this and to see a full, detailed and recent list of the companies that have been named and shamed by the government as well as the specific amounts of money they owe and to how many workers they owe this money then do check out the official GOV.UK page by clicking here.