Firms named for breaching minimum wage law

Builders merchants, scaffolders and a subsidiary of a large main contractor are among firms named by the government for failing to pay the minimum wage.

More than 500 companies have been named after investigations by HMRC found that between 2015 and 2023 they had breached the National Minimum Wage Act.

Among the firms were B&Q, which failed to pay a total of £33,887.41 to 77 workers; Wickes Building Supplies, which failed to pay £17,186.64 to 1,870 workers; and Hull-based MKM Building Supplies, which failed to pay £8,370.06 to 41 workers, according to the the Department for Business and Trade (DBT).

Also named was Morgan Sindall Property Services, the FM and council-contracted maintenance arm of the Morgan Sindall Group. The DBT said it failed to pay £515.85 to one worker

Interlink Scaffolding Ltd, of Tyne and Wear, was named after failing to pay £2,492.83 to 14 workers, while Cleveland Scaffolding Ltd, of Stockton-on-Tees, failed to pay £1,010.73 to three workers, according to the DBT.

All named businesses have since paid what they owe to their staff and have also faced financial penalties of up to 200 per cent of their underpayments, the DBT said.

Minister for enterprise, markets and small business Kevin Hollinrake said: “Employees deserve to get paid properly for the hard work they put in.

“While the majority of businesses already do the right thing and pay their staff what they are owed, today’s announcement sends a message to the minority who aren’t – that there are repercussions to undercutting hard work from their staff.”

A statement from the department accepted that not all underpayments were intentional but warned that it would take action against employers who do not pay staff correctly.

Low Pay Commission independent commissioner Patricia Rice said fair payment is “more important than ever” as the cost of living increases.

“National minimum wage underpayment not only cheats workers of their rightful due, it leaves compliant firms undercut by those who do not abide by the law.

“By naming the firms responsible for significant underpayment, we raise awareness of the nature and the scale of underpayment and encourage all employers to ensure that they fully comply with the law,” she said.

Six plumbing and heating firms also featured on the 524-strong list.

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