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20 February 2024, 14:31

Government Names 524 Companies for Minimum Wage Violations, Including BCA

Government Names 524 Companies for Minimum Wage Violations, Including BCA

In a landmark enforcement action, the government has publicly named 524 companies, including BCA, for failing to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage (NMW), affecting over 172,000 employees across the UK. These companies have been found to underpay staff by nearly £16 million in total, a significant breach of wage laws.

The announcement comes at a critical time, just ahead of the National Living Wage increase to £11.44 an hour on April 1st, as declared in the Autumn statement last November. This represents a 9.8% hike, underscoring the government's commitment to ensuring fair pay for all workers.

Among the employers named for underpaying workers is BCA, identified for owing 442 of its staff a shortfall of £7496.99. This action sends a powerful message to all employers, including well-known high street names, that the government will not tolerate failure to comply with minimum wage requirements.

These businesses have since rectified the underpayments to their workers and have been subjected to financial penalties, up to 200% of the owed amount, as determined by investigations carried out by His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) between 2015 and 2023.

Kevin Hollinrake, Minister for Enterprise, Markets, and Small Business, emphasized the importance of fair compensation for employees, stating, "Employees deserve to get paid properly for the hard work they put in." He warned that the government is keen to enforce the law for those not adhering to wage regulations, regardless of whether underpayments are intentional or not.

Patricia Rice, Independent Commissioner at the Low Pay Commission, highlighted the critical role of the NMW in safeguarding the earnings of the UK's lowest-paid workers, especially during times of rising living costs. She stressed that non-compliance not only disadvantages workers but also places law-abiding businesses at a competitive disadvantage.

To further educate employers and ensure compliance, the government has released an educational bulletin on National Minimum Wage legislation. This initiative is part of a broader effort to ensure that workers are fairly compensated, aligning with the significant increase in the National Living Wage announced for April 2024. This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the NMW's introduction, with the government fulfilling its pledge to elevate the National Living Wage to two-thirds of median earnings, thereby addressing low hourly pay for workers aged 21 and over.

Notes to the editor

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