BetFred named in government list of minimum wage breaches

A Betfred shop in London

North West gambling giant BetFred, owned by billionaire brothers Fred and Peter Done, has repaid over £39,254.54 to 2,154 workers who weren’t paid the National Minimum Wage.

BetFred is one of over 500 employers who have been found to have failed to pay their workers a total of nearly £16m in a clear breach of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) law, leaving over 172,000 workers out of pocket.

The company declined to offer a formal response but indicated that the breaches occurred in 2018 and that the problem has been “sorted”.

The businesses named in the list have since paid back what they owe to their staff and have also faced financial penalties of up to 200% of their underpayment. The investigations by HMRC concluded between 2015 and 2023.

Other companies in the North West include the parent companies of retailer Bodycare and the hotels group Village.

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.”

Whilst the government says not all minimum wage underpayments are intentional, it says has been clear that anyone entitled to be paid the minimum wage should receive it, and that enforcement action will be taken against employers who do not pay their staff correctly.

Independent commissioner at the Low Pay Commission, Patricia Rice, said: “Since its introduction nearly twenty-five years ago, the national minimum wage has played a vital role in protecting the earnings of the lowest-paid workers in the UK.  At a time when the cost-of-living is rising, it is more important than ever that these workers receive the pay to which they are entitled.”

NMW 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.