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H&M named and shamed

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Employers who failed to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage have been named today by Business Minister Jo Swinson, one of which is fashion retailer H&M.

A the new naming regime came into force in October 2013 and now it has been revealed that H&M Hennes & Mauritz neglected to pay £2,604.87 to 540 workers.

Due to the importance the Government places on compliance and enforcement, HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) National Minimum Wage enforcement budget will be increased by a further £3 million in 2015/16 – taking the total to £12.2m. The extra money will go towards increasing the number of HMRC compliance officers to identify businesses that exploit their workers by paying them below the National Minimum Wage.

Business Minister Jo Swinson said:

“Paying less than the minimum wage is illegal, immoral and completely unacceptable. If employers break this law they need to know that we will take tough action by naming, shaming and fining them as well as helping workers recover the hundreds of thousands of pounds in pay owed to them.

We are also looking at what more we can do to make sure workers are paid fairly in the first place. As well as being publicly named and shamed, employers that fail to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage face penalties of up to £20,000. We are legislating through the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill so that this penalty can be applied to each underpaid worker rather than per employer.”

The case named today was thoroughly investigated by HM Revenue & Customs after workers made complaints to the free and confidential Pay and Work Rights Helpline.

The scheme was revised in October 2013 to make it simpler to name and shame employers that do not comply with minimum wage rules. Employers have a duty to be aware of the different legal rates for the National Minimum Wage.

The current National Minimum Wage rates are:

  • Adult rate (21 and over) - £6.50 per hour
  • 18-20 year olds - £5.13 per hour
  • 16-17 year olds - £3.79 per hour
  • Apprentice rate - £2.73 per hour

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

Published on Thursday 15 January by Veebs Sabharwal

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