HR · 23 October 2015

Hairdressers and hotels among small businesses “named and shamed” for not paying the national minimum wage

Hairdressers featured heavily on the list of 115 employers – some of which neglected to pay individual employees over £1,000
Hairdressers featured heavily on the list of 115 employers – some of which neglected to pay individual employees over £1,000

Over 100 employers who have failed to pay their workers the national minimum wage have been “named and shamed” by business minister Nick Boles.

The 115 companies named owed workers over £389,000 in arrears between them, spanning sectors including retail, education, catering and social care.

Monsoon Accessorize drew particular criticism not only as the big recognisable name on the list, but also being ranked as the worst offender by failing to pay £104,508 to 1,438 workers. Most of the employers however, were smaller businesses including hairdressers, a taxi firm, a nursery school, hotels, as well as a funeral director.

Among the top ten were Lancashire-based hairdressers Carl Keith Salons, which skimped on paying £20,535.03 to five workers, Stirling’s Village Garage Engineers, neglecting to pay £9,159.80 to three workers and Scottish firm Aspect Plumbing & Heating which neglected to pay one employee over £8,000.

Firms have already paid back £389,000 and will also have to pay penalties after investigations by HMRC.

Since the scheme was introduced in October 2013, 400 employers have been named publicly, with total arrears of over £1,181,000 and total penalties of over £513,000.

Boles said employers that failed to pay the minimum wage “hurt the living standards of the lowest paid and their families”.

“As a one nation government on the side of the working people we are determined that everyone who is entitled to the national minimum wage receives it,” he added.

Boles also mentioned the incoming national living wage, being introduced in April 2016 “which will mean a £900-a-year pay rise for someone working full time on the minimum wage and we will enforce this equally robustly”.

The living wage announcement has been met with mixed reaction among the business community. A report carried out by think tank Resolution Foundation found that three sectors – hospitality, retail and support services – would be most affected by the living wage. Small businesses are predicted to be significantly worse off compared to larger firms.

The living wage is expected to rise more than £9 in 2020, and is intended to be equal to 60 per cent of the typical wage of workers aged 25 or over.

Some six million workers (23 per cent of all employees) stood to benefit in 2020 as a result of this, according to the Resolution Foundation.

The top ten minimum wage offenders:

(1) Monsoon Accessorize Ltd, London W11, neglected to pay £104,507.83 to 1438 workers

(2) Tyne & Wear Riding for the Disabled Association, trading as Washington Riding Centre, Washington, neglected to pay £27,151.79 to six workers

(3) Project Security UK Ltd, Doncaster, neglected to pay £23,857.11 to 18 workers

(4) Carl Keith Salons Ltd, Prescot, neglected to pay £20,535.03 to 5 workers

(5) Cornwall Glass & Glazing Ltd, trading as Exeter & MacKenzie Glass Centre, Exeter, neglected to pay £14,253.66 to nine workers

(6) Mr Gholam Ghiassi, Chaigley, neglected to pay £14,208.40 to two workers

(7) Helen Woodend, trading as New Brooms, Burton-in-Kendal, neglected to pay £13,447.01 to 14 workers

(8) Stoke College Educational Trust Ltd, trading as Stoke College, Sudbury, neglected to pay £12,094.83 to seven workers

(9) Village Garage Engineers Ltd, trading as Village Garage, Plean, neglected to pay £9,159.80 to three workers

(10) Aspect Plumbing & Heating Ltd, trading as Aspect Plumbing & Heating, Liverpool, neglected to pay £8,280.45 to one worker

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Rebecca is a reporter for Business Advice. Prior to this, she worked with a range of tech, advertising, media and digital clients at Propeller PR and did freelance work for The Telegraph.

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