A nursery owner from Manchester has been disqualified for 6 years from being a director of a limited company after failing to pay 12 members of staff the national minimum wage

A nursery owner from Manchester has been disqualified for six years from being a director of a limited company after failing to pay 12 members of staff the national minimum wage.

The Facts

Joanne Ward had been the owner and sole director of Cygnets To Swans Limited, a nursery based in Manchester since April 2002. As a result of some routine checks carried out by HMRC's national minimum wage enforcement officers in 2012 and 2013, it was discovered that the company had failed to pay 12 employees the national minimum wage since 2010 and the company was therefore issued with a £5,000 penalty. The maximum penalty at the time. This sum remained outstanding when the company went into liquidation on 8 October 2015.

Ms Ward was subsequently disqualified from running a limited company for a period of six years, with effect from 24 February 2016.

Robert Clarke, group leader at Insolvent Investigations North, said:

"The Insolvency Service rigorously pursues directors who break employment laws. Not paying staff the national minimum wage is a clear breach of a director's duties.

The public has a right to expect that those who break the law will face the consequences. Running a limited company means you have statutory obligations as well as protections, and this should serve as a warning to other directors who are tempted to underpay staff."

Best Practice

Although the facts of this case are extreme, it demonstrates the enforcement measures that can be taken for a failure to pay the national minimum wage.