National Minimum Wage companies named and shamed

The Government has released the latest list of companies who have failed to pay the National Minimum Wage (NMW) to its employees. Over 115 companies appear on the list, with Monsoon Accessorize being the best known company on the list and grabbing top spot, due to owing 1,438 employees a total sum of £104,507.83.

Since the Government amended the scheme for naming employers in breach of NMW legislation, in October 2013, 400 companies have been named as owing a total of over £1,181,000 and penalties totalling over £500,000 have been issued.

It appears that Monsoon Accessorize had a policy of requiring their staff to wear Monsoon clothing which they could buy at a discount but which was deducted from their wages, taking their wages below the minimum wage level.

The current National Minimum Wage rates are:

  • adult rate (21 years old and over) - £6.70 per hour
  • 18 to 20-year olds - £5.30 per hour
  • 16 to 17-year olds - £3.87 per hour
  • apprentice rate - £3.30 per hour

The apprentice rate applies to apprentices aged 16 to 18 years and those aged 19 years and over who are in their first year. All other apprentices are entitled to the NMW rate for their age.

If an employer is found to be paying less than the NMW, as well as having to repay the shortfall, they could face penalties of up to £20,000.