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HMRC’s investigation showed that over a period of only four-and-a-half months, Mrs Patel paid £342.00 to a worker in her hair and beauty salon whereas under the NMW the worker was legally entitled to a minimum of £3,703.22 for the hours worked during that period.
Norman Lamb said:
“The law is clear. Any worker who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it, that’s why we are committed to clamping down on those who break the law. Where arrears of the minimum wage are identified by HMRC they will always be pursued. There is no excuse for not paying the NMW in the first place but failing to pay on being required to do so by investigators from HM Revenue and Customs is unacceptable.”
Martin Traynor, chief executive of Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce, commented: “The minimum wage is there by law and employers need to meet that. What it does is create a level playing field for businesses. Without it, it would be unfair for employees and for other businesses.” The Government is committed to deterring employers who would otherwise be tempted not to pay the NMW and recognises that bad publicity is an effective way of doing this.
The BIS scheme to name employers who flout minimum wage law came into effect last year and is one of a range of tools at the Government’s disposal to tackle this issue. Cases where arrears of wages have to be enforced through the courts will be publicised in future.
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