More than £4.6 million has been paid out to thousands of people working for less than the national minimum wage, including staff at a Premier League football club, figures have shown.
HM Revenue and Customs said it had held more than 1,400 investigations in the past year which led to arrears being paid to 22,000 workers.
Around 650 financial penalties were issued, worth £815,000, recovering an average of £205 per person.
Business minister Jenny Willott said: “Paying less than the minimum wage is illegal and, as HMRC’s record shows, if employers break the law they will face tough consequences.
“We want to issue a clear warning to employers who fail to pay the minimum wage – under the Government’s new rules you will be named and shamed and face a stiff financial penalty.”
The unnamed football club was ordered to pay arrears of more than £27,500 to 3,000 workers after it made deductions for uniforms and travelling time for staff working in hospitality.
Other cases included a social care provider found to have not paid its staff for travelling time and a recruitment agency ordered to pay more than £167,000 to workers, including some it had classified as unpaid interns.
Jennie Granger, director of enforcement and compliance at HMRC, said: “Paying the national minimum wage is not a choice – it’s the law. HMRC will continue to ensure that workers get at least the wage to which they are legally entitled.
“Where an employer ignores these rules, we will ensure that any arrears are paid out in full and the employer is fined. Rogue employers be warned – we will find you and you will pay.”
> So Workfare – working for benefits only – an amount below the national minimum wage ? Will the HMRC find Iain Duncan Smith and make him pay?
Source – Northern Echo, 05 June 2014