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191 businesses were recently named for breaking national minimum wage law.

Following investigations by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, a total of £2.1 million was found to be owed to over 34,000 workers.

The breaches took place between 2011 and 2018. HMRC have ordered named employers to pay back what they owed. HMRC also fined employers an additional £3.2 million, showing it is not acceptable to underpay workers.

The UK government recently gave millions a pay rise, by increasing National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates in April 2021. The rise means someone working full time on the National Living Wage will be taking home £5,400 more annually than they were in 2010.

Although minimum wage underpayments are not always intentional, it has always been the responsibility of all employers to abide by the law. Clear guidance is available on, which all employers should check.

Employers do commit minimum wage breaches when workers are being paid on or just above the minimum wage rate. Employers can also make deductions from their pay for uniform or accommodation.

The employers named today previously underpaid workers in the following ways:

  • 47% wrongly deducted pay from workers’ wages, including for uniform and expenses.
  • 30% failed to pay workers for all the time they had worked, such as when they worked overtime.
  • 19% paid the incorrect apprenticeship rate.

See: Employers ‘named and shamed’ for paying less than minimum wage – GOV.UK (