The East Anglian employers ‘named and shamed’ for underpaying staff

PUBLISHED: 11:45 06 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:25 06 July 2018

The national minimum wage was raised in April. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The national minimum wage was raised in April. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

A cleaning company and a distribution centre are among the employers in the East of England who have failed to pay the national minimum wage.

Nationally 239 employers were “named and shamed” in a list from HM Revenue and Customs of businesses and individuals said to have underpaid staff.

Read the full list here.

HMRC also published a list of the most common reasons for underpayment, which included taking deductions from wages for costs such as uniforms, underpaying apprentices and failing to pay for travel time.

Following the previous disclosure of underpaying companies in March, in which 179 employers were named, some East Anglian companies expressed concerns that the “name and shame” system was too blunt and that reasons for underpayment could be nuanced.

Longham Distribution, based in Hethersett, was found to have underpaid 15 workers by £568.02, an average of £37.87, each between March 2014 and August 2017.

Franchise owner Tim Wood attributed the underpayment to an “administrative error”, which he said had now been resolved.

Meanwhile Mary Moppins, which has offices in Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Diss, was found to have underpaid £611.37 to 85 workers between August 2013 and November 2015 – equal to £7.19 each.

The company has been contacted for comment.

Around £1.4m has been recovered in back pay for 22,400 workers in this latest “name and shame” round, with employers fined £1.97m.

Care homes, car washes, pubs, hairdressers and football and cricket clubs were among the employers said to have underpaid workers.

Names on the list include Wyevale Garden Centres, which underpaid two workers £14,296.58, a total of £7,148.29 each, and Odeon and UCI Cinema Group in Manchester, which underpaid 237 workers £4,438.92, equivalent to £18.73 each.

The biggest underpayment in the East of England was by John Stanley’s Care Agency, based in Hornchurch near Romford, which underpaid 91 workers between April 2013 and March 2016 by an average of £659.96 each – a total of £60,056.80.

Business minister Andrew Griffiths said: “Our priority is making sure workers know their rights and are getting the pay they worked hard for.

“Employers who don’t do the right thing face fines as well as being hit with the bill for backpay.”

Low Pay Commission chairman Bryan Sanderson added: “It is crucial that employers understand their responsibilities and workers know their rights around the minimum wage.”

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