Yorkshire employers fined for paying less than minimum wage

Business Minister Paul Scully

28 Yorkshire & Humber businesses are being named today for breaking national minimum wage law.

The breaches took place between 2012 and 2018. Following investigations by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, a total of £158,000 was found to be owed to 705 workers.

Named employers have since been made to pay back what they owed, and were fined an additional £216,000.

Among those firms identified today were The Dental Workshop Limited, Leeds, which failed to pay £4,190 to an employee and Big News Trading Ltd, trading as Chibber’s Superstore, Calderdale, which failed to pay £4,545 to a worker.

The UK Government recently gave millions a pay rise by increasing National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates in April 2021.

Every single UK worker is entitled to the National Minimum Wage, no matter their age or profession.

Minimum wage breaches can occur when workers are being paid on or just above the minimum wage rate, and then have deductions from their pay for uniform or accommodation.

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

  • Wrongly deducted pay from workers’ wages, including for uniform and expenses
  • Failing to pay workers for all the time they had worked, such as when they worked overtime
  • Paying the incorrect apprenticeship rate

Business Minister, Paul Scully, said: “Yorkshire is a great place to run a business, but employers must stay above the law to avoid short-changing workers.

“Upholding workers’ rights is a top priority for this government and employers breaking minimum wage law won’t be let off lightly.

“It’s up to all employers in the region, including those on this list, to check Government guidance and pay workers properly.”

Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage have to pay back arrears of wages to the worker at current minimum wage rates.

They also face hefty financial penalties of up to 200% of arrears – capped at £20,000 per worker – which are paid to the Government. Since 2015 the Government has ordered employers to repay over £100m to one million workers.

A significant number of the minimum wage breaches identified today affected those on apprenticeships. Today the Government has published new guidance to ensure employers know exactly what they need to do to pay their apprentices, and all workers, correctly.

Chair of the Low Pay Commission, Bryan Sanderson, said: “These are very difficult times for all workers, particularly those on low pay who are often undertaking critical tasks in a variety of key sectors including care.

“The minimum wage provides a crucial level of support and compliance is essential for the benefit of both the recipients and our society as a whole.”