Doncaster firm named and shamed for underpaying staff

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A South Yorkshire firm employing security guards has been named and shamed in a Government list detailing companies which failed to pay staff the minimum wage.

Project Security is listed as underpaying 18 members of staff by a total of £23,000.

The list features 115 companies which underpaid employees by almost £389,000.

The money has been paid back but the firms will now have to pay penalties following investigations by HM Revenue and Customs.

Since the Government started naming and shaming companies two years ago, arrears of £1.1 million and penalties of over £500,000 have been paid.

Business minister Nick Boles said: “Employers who fail to pay the minimum wage hurt the living standards of the lowest paid and their families.”

He pledged that the new national living wage of £7.20 an hour for over 25-year-olds from next April will be enforced ‘equally robustly’ as the minimum wage, currently £6.70.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It’s good to see that the Government is naming and shaming more companies who pay their employees less than the minimum wage.

“However, today’s list of offenders is only the tip of the iceberg. Many more employers are getting away with illegal underpayment.”

Sarah Vero, director of the Living Wage Foundation, which sets the rate of the voluntary Living Wage, said: “The national minimum wage is intended as a benchmark to avoid exploitation.

“It’s saddening to hear that a number of employers are failing to implement this properly and we hope that the enforcement of the legal minimums continues to ensure that those at the bottom of the payscale are protected and employers regardless of size are held to account.

“There are a number of employers listed, including high street names, that we hope will consider their pay practices and look to improving how they reward staff.

“The Living Wage is a voluntary rate that over 1,800 businesses pay. Our Living Wage rate, based on the cost of living, rewards a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay. It’s time for business to stop clinging to rates around the minimum, research shows that customers expect better than that.”

The Living Wage is set at £7.85 an hour - £9.15 in London - and is due to be increased next month.