- Prachi Singh |
Karen Millen and Shoe Zone feature among the list of around 180 employers named and shamed by the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for underpaying more than 9,000 minimum wage workers by 1.1 million pounds (1.5 million dollars). Along with recovering backpay for 9,200 workers, the government also fined the employers a total of 1.3 million pounds (1.8 million dollars) in penalties for breaking national minimum wage laws.
While the list states that Karen Millen Fashions Limited, West Oxfordshire OX29 failed to pay 9,847.20 pounds (13,602 dollars) to 28 workers, Shoe Zone Retail Limited, Leicester LE1, failed to pay 804.88 pounds (1,111.78 dollars) to 15 workers. Also 4Fashions Ltd, trading as Dress Decode, Manchester M8 is among names, for failing to pay 25,616.56 pounds (35,382.36 dollars) to 24 workers.
Commenting on the move, Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said in the statement: There are no excuses for short-changing workers. This is an absolute red line for this government and employers who cross it will get caught - not only are they forced to pay back every penny but they are also fined up to 200 percent of wages owed. Today’s naming round serves as a sharp reminder to employers to get their house in order ahead of minimum wage rate rises on 1 April.”
BEIS to launch campaign to create awareness
A media statement on the Gov.UK website states that the move comes ahead of the next rate rise on April 1, 2018, when the National Living Wage will go up from 7.50 pounds (10.36 dollars) to 7.83 pounds (10.82 dollars) per hour. Apprentices under the age of 19 and those in the first year of their apprenticeship will benefit from a 5.7 percent rise.
Later this month, BEIS will also launch a campaign to raise awareness of the new rates and encourage workers to speak to their employer if they think they are being underpaid.
“As the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates rise on April 1, it is vital that workers understand their rights, and employers their obligations. The Low Pay Commission is pleased to see the government maintaining the momentum of its minimum wage enforcement. The recent announcement that all workers will have a right to payslips stating the hours they have worked – an idea originally proposed by the LPC – is a positive step.”
This 14th naming round comes after the government published its Good Work plan last month, which announced the right to a payslip for all workers. The new law is likely to benefit around 300,000 UK workers who do not currently get a payslip. For those paid by the hour, payslips will also have to include how many hours the worker is paid for, making pay easier to understand and challenge if it is wrong.
Since 2013, the scheme has identified more than 9 million pounds (12.4 million pounds) in back pay for around 67,000 workers, with more than 1,700 employers fined a total of 6.3 million pounds (8.7 million dollars). The government has also committed 25.3 million pounds (34.9 million dollars) for minimum wage enforcement in 2017 to 2018.
Picture:Karen Millen website