The government is to reinstate the naming and shaming policy, the NMW Naming Scheme, after it was stopped in 2018 awaiting a review, which has now been completed.
From April 2020, businesses failing to pay their workers the national minimum wage or
Under the revised rules, any organisation which owes arrears of more than £500 in national minimum wage payments to their workforces will now be named.
The government said that ‘The new proportionate approach will mean that some businesses falling foul of the rules by minimal sums will not be named, provided they correct any errors’.
Businesses that underpay by less than £100 will have the opportunity to “make good” their mistakes without being named but will still be forced to pay back workers and can face fines of up to 200% of the arrears.
The government has also vowed to increase support for employers to comply with NMW legislation and to change regulations to widen the range of pay arrangements available to business employing ‘salaried hours workers’ (workers who receive an annual salary in equal instalments for a set number of contracted hours). Under these changes, workers who are often paid hourly or per day and consequently have different pay checks every month can be classified as salaried workers.
UKHospitality has expressed concern however, saying that the sector needs detailed support.
Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: ‘We believe more needs to be done to totally rule out administrative errors. Some businesses have been caught out by admin errors in the past, rather than through deliberate underpayment. We have made this point clear to the Government previously and highlighted the potential for employers to make honest mistakes on issues like accommodation offset or staff uniforms. The focus should be on tackling those businesses who knowingly underpay.
‘Sector-specific guidance which incorporates the various nuances and needs of vastly different businesses would help clear up any misunderstanding and help employers understand their obligations and prepare for the changes. We hope the Government will work with the hospitality industry to promote compliance.’