UPDATED: Two Leighton Buzzard employers named and shamed as minimum wage offenders

National Minimum wage
National Minimum wage

Two Leighton buzzard employers who have failed to pay staff the new National Minimum Wage have been named and shamed today (Friday) by Business Minister Nick Boles.

The Leighton Buzzard employers formed part of a list of 92 named and shamed for between them owing £1,873,712 in arrears.

The list covers sectors including hairdressing, social care, hospitality and security services.

And the Leighton Buzzard firms named were Connells Residential, trading as Connells Estate Agents in the town, which failed to pay £2,049.14 to one employee and Free Spirit Automotive Ltd which failed to pay £288.69 to one employee.

A Connells Residential spokesman said the company was “extremely disappointed” to be included on the list.

The spokesman said: “This was an isolated administrative error regarding just one member of staff which, once identified, was immediately corrected and the outstanding monies owed were paid to the individual concerned.

“The Connells Group employs over 6,000 people, and is fully aware of the NMW requirements. We seek to reward all our people fairly and the vast majority earn significantly more than the NMW.”

Since the scheme was introduced in October 2013, 490 employers have been named and shamed, with total arrears of more than £3 million and total penalties of over £1.1m.

Business Minister Nick Boles said the government is proving it is ‘on the side of working people’.

“We are determined that everyone who is entitled to the National Minimum Wage receives it,” Mr Boles said.

“There is no excuse for not paying staff the wages they’re entitled to. Our policy of naming and shaming employers who ignore the law means there are consequences for their reputation as well as their wallets.

“In April we will introduce a new National Living Wage which will mean a pay rise of over £900-a-year for someone working full time on the minimum wage and we will enforce this equally robustly.”

On 1 October 2015, the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rose to £6.70. Employers should be aware of the different rates for the National Minimum Wage depending on the circumstances of their workers.

The 92 cases named today were thoroughly investigated by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The naming and shaming scheme was revised in October 2013 to make it simpler to name and shame employers that do not comply with minimum wage rules.

Businesses or employees who have any questions about the National Minimum Wage can contact Acas online by visiting www.acas.org.uk/nmw.