Bosses ducking minimum wage should face justice, says TUC

200 companies were just 'named and shamed' by the government


Employers who do not pay workers minimum wage should be prosecuted, the head of the Trades Union Congress has said.

Frances O’Grady was responding to the government’s ‘naming and shaming’ 200 companies ducking the minimum wage.

She called the list ‘eye-watering’ and called for the worst offenders to be brought to justice under the law, saying there should be ‘nowhere to hide’ for bosses not paying minimum wage.

The list – the largest of it’s kind ever released – was hailed by business minister Margot James as part of Theresa May’s pledge to ‘build an economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged few’.

The worst offender was San Lorenzo restaurant in Wimbledon, which owes 30 employees nearly £100,000.

O’Grady said:

‘Bosses who try to duck the minimum wage must have nowhere to hide.

It is deeply disappointing to see so many companies fail to honour their basic obligations to their workers. The level of underpayment in some cases is truly eye-watering.

Ministers are absolutely right to name and shame these companies, but we also need to see prosecutions for the worst offenders.’

The release of the list follows news that homecare workers are being denied minimum wage for their care for the elderly and vulnerable.

Earlier this week, the High Pay Centre revealed FTSE 100 CEOs were making ten per cent more than last year, and taking home on average £5.5 million per year. Only a quarter of these companies pay workers a Living Wage.

Labour Party leadership candidate Owen Smith said:

‘What a roll call of dishonour this list provides.

It’s disgraceful that employers are getting away with paying workers less than the minimum wage and the Tories clearly don’t care enough to take serious action.’

He added:

If Britain continues to have such terrible rights for workers these abuses will continue.

And of the millions of people who suffer from low pay and insecurity in the workplace, it’s women who inevitably carry the biggest burden.’

The minimum wage is currently £7.20 for people over 25 years old, but falls to as low as £3.87 for under-18s.

The government has introduced a ‘National Living Wage’ of £7.20 an hour, but the Living Wage Foundation recommends a real living wage of £8.25, and £9.40 in London.

See: People don’t have money to spend – and the government won’t act

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3 Responses to “Bosses ducking minimum wage should face justice, says TUC”

  1. nick

    all companies employing any worker should be listed on a top/bottom 100 so that all students as well as the whole population know what is a good or bad company to work for. and not like as now on a wing and a prayer

    this should have been implemented years ago as it is wrong to grow up and find these sorts of major parts of your life just left to chance

  2. Carey

    £7.20 per hour if you are over 25??? What??? People are supposed to live on that??? Also, surely this name and shame listing should also be done to companies not paying their fair share of taxes with all the tax dodging shenanigans they get up to? If you are going to set a low national min wage, that workforce desperately needs an infrastructure that allows them to survive – including housing, health, education, dare we say it leisure activities?!

  3. Dave Stewart

    If a worker were to underpay their utilities bills or council tax you can bet that they would eventually end up in court. This naming and shaming is all well and good but for every instance where employers have been shown to be breaking the law they should be prosecuted. Full stop. It is entirely unacceptable that they are allowed to get away with nothing but a telling off.

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