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Wed January 26 2022

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Cramlington contractor and HSS Hire among minimum wage defaulters

9 Jun 14 A construction company in Northumberland and the tool hire giant HSS are among 25 employers to have been named and shamed for paying employees less than the statutory minimum wage.

A2ZEE Construction Ltd of Cramlington neglected to pay £3,375.51 to 14 workers, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) revealed.

HSS Hire Service Group Ltd neglected to pay £149.00 to 15 workers.

Other employers uncovered by HM Revenue & Customs’ investigations include: Central Heating Services Ltd in Hampshire, which neglected to pay £6,200.28 to four workers; Steven Stainton of Steven Stainton Joinery in Cumbria, who neglected to pay £1,415.82 to a worker; and Exmouth plumbing firm CPS SW Ltd of Exmouth, which neglected to pay £261.29 to a worker.

Most of the other under-payers were hotels, restaurants or shops.

Business minister Jenny Willott said: “Paying less than the minimum wage is not only wrong, it’s illegal. If employers break the law they need to know that they will face tough consequences.

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“Any worker who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it. If anyone suspects they are not being paid the wage they are legally entitled to they should call the Pay and Work Rights helpline on 0800 917 2368.”

The government has introduced new measures against employers that break national minimum wage law. As well as being publicly named and shamed, employers that fail to pay their workers the minimum wage also face new penalties of up to £20,000 – four times higher than before.

The government also plans to legislate in the new parliamentary session so that employers can also be given penalties of up to £20,000 for each individual worker they have underpaid, rather than the maximum penalty applying to each employer. This will mean if an employer underpays 10 workers, they could face penalties of up to £200,000.

From 1 October 2014 new rates for the statutory minimum wage come into effect:

  • a 19p (3%) increase in the adult rate from £6.31 to £6.50 per hour
  • a 10p (2%) increase in the rate for 18-20 year olds from £5.03 to £5.13 per hour
  • a 7p (2%) increase in the rate for 16-17 year olds from £3.72 to £3.79 per hour
  • a 5p (2%) increase in the rate for apprentices from £2.68 to £2.73 per hour

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