Minimum Wage Cheats Owe Staff £2m In Back Pay
by Felicity Collier
17th Aug. 2017
MORE than 13,000 of Britain’s lowest-paid workers are owed £2 million in back pay, the government announced last night.
Ministers named 233 firms that have failed to pay staff the legal minimum wage — just £7.50 an hour for over-25s.
Firms were also guilty of other failures, including not paying overtime, wrongly paying apprentice rates to those who are workers and deducting money for uniforms.
The worst offender was retail giant Argos, which withheld nearly £1.5 million from 12,176 of its workers.
The firm — now owned by Sainsbury’s — also came under fire in February when the Unite union warned that the pay and conditions of 1,400 workers were at risk.
Next on the list is employment agency Pearson Anderson, which supplies the NHS.
It claims on its website that: “We work close [sic] with the UK regulation authority for recruitment to ensure all our procedures and clients/candidates work in a safe and productive environment.
Our aim is to recruit robustly and ensure everyone involved in the process is looked after.”
Other culprits include construction companies, nurseries, hairdressers and private care homes which have been fined a total £1.9 million.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This should be a wake-up call for employers.
If you cheat staff out of the minimum wage, your reputation will be dragged through the mud.
The minimum wage has been around for nearly 20 years.
There is no excuse for employers to claim ignorance.”
TUC research suggests the number of workers being cheated is closer to 250,000.
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