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Primark and Sports Direct among companies named for underpaying staff

Primark and Sports Direct are among a list of 260 companies named by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for failing to pay at least minimum wage rates.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Primark and Sports Direct among companies named for underpaying staff

Primark and Sports Direct are among a list of 260 companies named by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for failing to pay at least minimum wage rates.

Government investigators have identified £1.7 million in back pay for some 16,000 UK workers across a range of companies and fined employers £1.3 million for underpayment.

Common reasons for errors made in payments included failing to pay workers travelling between jobs, deducting money from pay for uniforms and not paying for overtime.

Business Minister Margot James said: "There is no excuse for not paying staff the wages they're entitled to and the government will come down hard on businesses that break the rules.

“That’s why today we are naming hundreds of employers who have been short changing their workers; and to ensure there are consequences for their wallets as well as their reputation, we’ve levied millions in back pay and fines.”

Bryan Sanderson, chairman of the Low Pay Commission, added: “The Low Pay Commission’s conversations with employers suggest that the risk of being named is encouraging businesses to focus on compliance.

“Further, it is good to see that HMRC continues to target large employers who have underpaid a large number of workers, as well as cases involving only a few workers, where workers are at risk of the most serious exploitation. It is imperative that the government keeps up the pressure on all employers who commit breaches of minimum wage law.”

Since 2013, the scheme has identified £8 million in back pay for 58,000 workers, with 1,500 employers fined a total of £5 million. This year the government will spend a record £25.3 million on minimum wage enforcement.

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