The British government has released a list of over 200 companies that have not paid minimum wages to their employees. This list was prepared by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), and includes high-end brands to small firms.
As per the list, these companies are required to pay a total of five million euros to 63,000 workers along with other financial charges due to delay or non-payment of wages.
Bryan Sanderson, the chair of the low pay commission explains that the minimum wage ensures a decent standard of pay for all workers and if employers violate the law they not only harm their staff but also undermine fair competition among businesses.
According to the DBT report, among these 200 companies, around 39 per cent deducted employees’ wages, 39 per cent failed to pay deserving salaries and 21 per cent paid incorrect apprenticeship rates.
WH Smith Retail Holdings, Argos, Marks & Spencer, and Chanel are the top-ranked giants who have failed to pay minimum wages to their workers.
WH Smith topped the list, owing over one million euros to 17,607 workers. But the company attributed this failure to its uniform policy, where it failed to provide black trousers or skirts and shoes to its employees, resulting in a shortfall in wages.
Marks & Spencer, a multinational fashion retailer, also failed to pay over 500,000 euros to 5,363 workers. However, they claimed that their inclusion on the list was due to technical issues from over four years ago and that their minimum hourly pay has always met or exceeded the national minimum wage.
Kevin Hollinarke, minister, enterprise, markets and small business, emphasised that legal minimum wage is non-negotiable no matter what size the company is.