In total, 48 companies spanning fashion, publishing, hospitality, health, car, care and retail have been identified today by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. They owed workers £162,000 in arrears between them.
The investigation by HMR uncovered that French Connection was one of the biggest culprits, owing nearly £16,500 to 367 workers. A Glaswegian business trading as Arta Restaurant owed the biggest amount – just over £45,000 to 2,895 staff.
Business minister Jo Swinson said: “There’s no excuse for companies that don’t pay staff the wages they’re entitled to – whether by willfully breaking the law, or making irresponsible mistakes.
“The government is protecting workers by cracking down on employers who ignore minimum wage rules. In addition to naming and shaming, we’ve increased the penalty fines and boosted the resources available to investigate non-compliance.”
The government has begun to name and shame employers more pro-actively since October 2013 – all employers that have been issued with a Notice of Underpayment (NoU) will now be publicly identified unless they meet “exceptional criteria or have arrears of £100 or less”.
The 48 employers named today are:
- The Conde Nast Productions Ltd, London, neglected to pay £745.48 to one worker
- G1 Venues Ltd, trading as Arta Restaurant, Glasgow, neglected to pay £45,124.00 to 2895 workers
- The Clothing Works Ltd (ceased trading), Corby, neglected to pay £17,007.08 to 38 workers
- Freedom Sportsline Ltd, trading as Foot Locker, London, neglected to pay £16,718.25 to 601 workers
- French Connection UK Ltd, London, neglected to pay £16,436.05 to 367 workers
- Minara Enterprises Ltd, trading as Fakenham Tandoori, Fakenham, neglected to pay £11,696.47 to one worker
- Sharon Makin, trading as Clever Clowns Day Nursery, Manchester, neglected to pay £10,572.08 to six workers
- UK Gaming Computers Ltd, Colchester, neglected to pay £6,036.99 to two workers
- Sarah Sloane and David Sloane, trading as Hawes Side Nursery, Blackpool, neglected to pay £2,825.58 to three workers
- Weston Hire Services Ltd, Weston-super-Mare, neglected to pay £2,819.79 to one worker
- Miss C Glendon & Miss S Glendon, trading as Ciara’s Tots Day Nursery, Manchester, neglected to pay £2,549.23 to one worker
- Florence Opportunities Ltd, trading as Morgan Edward Hair & Beauty, Carmarthen, neglected to pay £2,201.99 to one worker
- Champneys Springs Ltd, Swadlincote, neglected to pay £1,950 to five workers
- H M Bodyshop Ltd, Colindale, London, neglected to pay £1944.83 to one worker
- David Hayton Ltd, Penrith, neglected to pay £1,865.48 to one worker
- Caledonian Leisure Sales Ltd, trading as Hurleys Operations, Birmingham, neglected to pay £1,628.63 to one worker
- The Bell at Skenfrith Ltd, Skenfrith, neglected to pay £1,619.36 to one worker
- Miss Kerris Dunne, Mr Frederick Dunne, and Mrs Alison Ashforth, trading as Aerobrights, Stafford, neglected to pay £1,529.82 to six workers
- Mortgages First Ltd, Colchester, neglected to pay £1,475.63 to three workers
- Fullworks (Ayrshire) Ltd, trading as The Full Works, Irvine, neglected to pay £1,362.76 to two workers
- Crazy Divas Ltd, trading as Divas, Colchester, neglected to pay £1,316.74 to four workers
- Glenview Development Partners Ltd, Tullibody, neglected to pay £1,150.42 to one worker
- Toni & Guy (Wilmslow) Ltd, Wilmslow, neglected to pay £1,031.12 to one worker
- Vertu Motors Plc, trading as Bristol Street Motors, Gateshead, neglected to pay £1,001.42 to one worker
- PNP Media Ltd, trading as EBS Marketing, Manchester, neglected to pay £981.06 to two workers
- Mr Trevor Trutwein, trading as Ambitions 2, Gillingham, neglected to pay £903.32 to one worker
- Mr Anthony Miller, trading as Sportline Car Sales, Coalville, neglected to pay £779.70 to two workers
- Mr Yong Zhang, trading as Dragon Cottage Chinese Takeaway, Loughborough, neglected to pay £711.80 to one worker
- 99p Stores Ltd, Northampton, neglected to pay £633.39 to 11 workers
- Mr M & Mrs M Hargreaves, trading as Little Windrush, Solihull, neglected to pay £631.51 to three workers
- Azad & Sons Ltd, trading as Pizza Hut, Norwich, neglected to pay £622.58 to 23 workers
The Bull’s Head (Inkberrow) Ltd, trading as The Bull’s Head Inn, Worcester, neglected to pay £580.95 to three workers
- Glyn Harding, trading as GCH Transport, Frome, neglected to pay £485.87 to one worker
- Mrs Yoko Banks, trading as Ashley House Hotel, Harrogate, neglected to pay £405.07 to one worker
- Mr Daniel Smith, trading as Smith’s Hair, Braintree, neglected to pay £385.86 to one worker
- Pharmacy 1st Ltd, Gillingham, neglected to pay £363.55 to one worker
- Ms Sonia Duncton, trading as The Three Compasses Public House, Alford, neglected to pay £344.72 to three workers
- Mrs Geraldine Kelly, trading as New Hope Creche, Enniskillen, neglected to pay £344.30 to 11 workers
- Bounty (UK) Ltd, Welwyn Garden City, neglected to pay £284.26 to one worker
- Golden Phoenix Inns Ltd, trading as The Crown Inn, Bristol, neglected to pay £284.01 to one worker
- The Widd Group Ltd, trading as Widd Signs, Leeds, neglected to pay £253.50 to one worker
- Mr Garry Evis, trading as Woodside MOT and Service Centre, Middlesbrough, neglected to pay £232.55 to one worker
- Mr Keith J Pygall, trading Pygall Coaches, Peterlee, neglected to pay £198.34 to one worker
Ranc Care Homes Ltd, trading as Maidstone Care Centre, Ilford, neglected to pay £178.76 to one worker
- Call & Deliver Ltd, trading as Pizza Hut, Heckmondwike, neglected to pay £163.45 to nine workers
- Mr Fernando Rocha, trading as A Tasca, Ely, neglected to pay £152.28 to one worker
- Winners 2000 Fitness Ltd, Torquay, neglected to pay £130.78 to one worker
- Central Electrical Ltd, Chesterfield, neglected to pay £130.28 to one worker
There has been widespread criticism of the bosses of these firms that fail to pay workers the National Minimum Wage with youth employment campaigner and entrepreneur Will Davies leading a call of them to be prosecuted.
Davies, who is the Managing Director of property maintenance firm Aspect , also believes that Zero Hours contracts should be kept under a future Labour government. His firm actively hires people under Zero Hours Contracts says, “We give significant financial gains to those on Zero Hours as we understand and appreciate the unpredictability they can bring”.
Davies suggests Labour Party leader Ed Miliband’s plans to scrap the Zero Hours Contracts would encourage a spike in ‘illegal labour’ while introducing the Mansion’s Tax is ‘concerning’ for his potentially affected customers.
However, he supports their pledge not to increase VAT and focus on increasing the National Minimum Wage to £8 per hour in the next five years, but thinks they can do more to exploit those who fail to pay the current rate.
“It beggars belief that employers are willing to cut their wage bill and exploiting young people by not giving them £6.50 per hour which is still not enough”.
“Failure to pay an employee the National Minimum is slavery and as far as I’m aware, those who impose this barbaric act, are locked behind bars,” adds Will Davies.