William Eichler 14 December 2021

Council ‘named and shamed’ for not paying minimum wage

Council ‘named and shamed’ for not paying minimum wage  image

Hampshire County Council has been named as one of over 200 employers who do not pay their lowest paid workers the minimum wage.

The Government has ‘named and shamed’ 208 employers who have failed to pay their workers £1.2m in total in a breach of National Minimum Wage (NMW) law. This has left around 12,000 workers out of pocket.

Hampshire County Council, the only local authority on the list, has reportedly failed to pay £1,543.13 to 24 workers.

‘Today’s 208 businesses, whatever their size, should know better than to short-change hard-working employees, regardless of whether it was intentional or not,’ said the minister for labour markets Paul Scully.

‘With Christmas fast approaching, it’s more important than ever that cash is not withheld from the pockets of workers. So don’t be a scrooge – pay your staff properly.’

Around 37% of the employers on the list underpaid their workers through deductions that reduce minimum wage pay. For example, some workers were left out of pocket to comply with a dress code.

Nearly 30% of the employers forced their employees to do unpaid working time such as mandatory training, trial shifts or travel time, and 16% failed to pay the correct rate to apprentices.

Over 10% of the employers on the list have not increased NMW pay in line with Government rises or are paying the wrong minimum wage rate.

A spokesperson for Hampshire County Council said: 'With a total workforce of over 45,000, we take our responsibilities relating to compliance with pay legislation very seriously. The issues raised to us by HMRC following an audit in 2018/19, spanned a six year period, in relation to a small number of staff who were employed directly by schools on short-term contracts of less than one year. We rectified the errors as soon as they were brought to our attention and apologised to those affected.

'Following investigation, we believe these to be genuine, isolated, local administrative errors affecting the pay of a very small number of individuals. However, we are not complacent, and we clarified and re-issued the guidance we provide in relation to payments of this kind.'

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