Government to name below-minimum-wage payers

Employers that fail to pay the national minimum wage (NMW) are to be publicly named and shamed from October 2013.

The government’s announcement is part of its efforts to toughen up enforcement of the NMW and increase compliance.

Under the original NMW naming scheme, employers had to meet one of seven criteria before they could be named. In addition, the minimum amount of NMW owed to workers had to be at least £2,000 and the average per worker at least £500 before an employer could be referred to The Deparment for Business, Innovation and Skills (Bis) from HM Revenue and Customs(HMRC) for naming.

The revised scheme will strip back these restrictions, making it simpler for the government to name more employers that break the law.

By naming employers, it is hoped that bad publicity will be an additional deterrent to those that would otherwise be tempted not to pay the NMW.

Jo Swinson, employment relations minister, said: “Paying less than the minimum wage is illegal. If employers break this law they need to know that we will take tough action.

“This is why I’m making changes so it is easier to name and shame employers which break the law.”

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But Chuka Umunna, Labour’s shadow business secretary, added: “Naming and shaming will be worthless unless ministers commit to properly enforcing the minimum wage, which they have so far failed to do.

“If a more responsible capitalism means anything it means transforming our economy to deliver more secure jobs on a wage [people] can live off.”