Norman Lamb, Minister for Employment Relations, has named an employer who flouted National Minimum Wage (NMW) law.
Leicester based hair and beauty salon owner, Mrs Rita Patel trading as Treena Professional Hair & Beauty, failed to pay £3,361.22 in arrears of the NMW to a former worker following an investigation by HMRC.
HMRC’s investigation showed that over a period of four-and-a-half months, Mrs Rita Patel paid only £342.00 to a worker in her hair and beauty salon. Under the NMW Act the worker was in fact legally entitled to £3,703.22 for work undertaken during that period.
Norman Lamb, Minister for Employment Relations said:
“The law is clear. Any worker who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it, that’s why we are committed to clamping down on those who break the law. Where arrears of the minimum wage are identified by HMRC they will always be pursued. There is no excuse for not paying the NMW in the first place but failing to pay on being required to do so by investigators from HM Revenue and Customs is unacceptable.”
According to BIS, "the Government is committed to deterring employers who would otherwise be tempted not to pay the NMW and recognises that bad publicity is an effective way of doing this. In future the Government will publicise cases where arrears of wages have to be enforced through the courts. HMRC already issues a press release where an employer has unsuccessfully appealed against a Notice of Underpayment requiring them to pay arrears of wages."
The BIS scheme to name employers who flout minimum wage law came into effect on 1 January 2011 but this is the first time an employer has been named under the scheme.
This is a salutary tale that you must ensure your employees (and workers) earn at least the NMW. If you are in any doubt about this then please contact your Legal Manager.