Employers who underpay will be named and shamed, says Government

Employers who fail to pay their workers the national minimum wage (NMW) will be publicly named under new plans announced by Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson.

It forms part of Government plans to clamp down on rogue businesses and to increase compliance with the NMW rules.

In addition to the revised 'naming and shaming' scheme due to come into effect in October 2013, employers will continue to pay penalties for failing to adhere to and pay the NMW.

Employers who broke NMW rules were already liable to be named by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, but restrictions meant that they had to owe at least £2,000 to workers - and owe an average £500 per worker - before being named. The new rules remove these restrictions.

According to HMRC, 736 employers were identified as failing to pay NMW in 2012/13, amounting to a total of £3.9 million in unpaid wages for more than 26,500 workers.

National minimum wage rates from the 1 October 2013:

  • the adult rate (21 years plus) will increase by 12p to £6.31 an hour 
  • the 18-20 year old rate will increase by 5p to £5.03 an hour
  • the 16-17 year old rate will increase by 4p to £3.72 an hour
  • the apprentice rate will increase by 3p to £2.68 an hour.

Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson 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 who break the law. This gives a clear warning to rogue employers who ignore the rules, that they will face reputational consequences as well as a fine if they don't pay the minimum wage."