The Low Pay Commission recently published its second NMW non-compliance and enforcement report, which revealed that the number of people paid less than the statutory minimum wage increased in 2018.

It called on the government to:

  • improve the way in which underpayments are measured to make it easier to assess the scale of noncompliance
  • publicise information about the NMW to help workers understand what they should be paid
  • find out why workers aren’t complaining and work with trade unions, Acas and other bodies to encourage them to do so
  • improve guidance available to employers to help them understand the rules
  • restart naming and shaming employers who don’t comply with the NMW

The last list was published, almost a year ago, in July 2018. At that time, the government trumpeted the fact that 239 employers were found to have underpaid 22,400 UK workers by a total of £1.44m and had levied fines of almost £2 million.

In February, opposition parties accused the government of letting down low-paid workers and suggested naming and shaming had “fallen off the government’s to-do list”.

This week, according to newspaper reports, Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said that the government was continuing to review the practice and that lists won't be published until that process is complete. There is no set completion date for the review which started six months ago.

Many businesses have complained about being including in the lists where they have made genuine mistakes and have not deliberately underpaid staff.

{“The ‘naming and shaming’ scheme was designed to send a loud and clear message to employers who exploit workers with illegal poverty wages that cheating does not pay,”

“If ministers are remotely concerned about addressing some of the very real reasons people voted for Brexit, tackling criminally low pay should be a top priority – not something they drop as departments drown in last-minute preparations.” - Caroline Lucas}