The latest list by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has named 179 employers that are failing to pay employees the legal minimum wage.
On this year’s list are companies including TGI Fridays, Marriott Hotels and Wagamama. The collective list owes 9,200 workers a total of 1.1 million.
The underpayment by Wagamama, TGI Fridays and Karen Millen was related to uniform cots.
A spokesperson from Wagamama said: “In the past, we didn’t realise that asking our front-of-house staff to wear casual black jeans or a skirt, with their Wagamama branded top, was considered as asking them to buy a form of uniform and so we should have paid them for it. Lots of other businesses were also unaware of this regulation around casual wear.”
“We have gladly made payments to current and previous employees who missed out, dating back from 2016 to 2013. We have also updated our uniform policy and we now pay a uniform supplement to cover the black jeans.”
Wagamama has paid an average of £50 to 2,630 employees. The fashion retailer Karen Millen has had to pay an average of £352 to each employee, who are required to wear the brand’s clothing.
“We acted quickly to remedy the situation, including arranging to reimburse affected staff and updating our wardrobe policy to ensure there could be no reoccurrence of the issue,” said the company in a statement.
The total 179 companies will compensate their employees and pay a further £1.3 million fine to the government.
Andrew Griffiths, the business minister, said: “There are no excuses for short-changing workers. This is an absolute red line for this government, and employers who cross it will get caught – not only are they forced to pay back every penny but they are also fined up to 200 percent of wages owed. Today’s naming round serves as a sharp reminder to employers to get their house in order ahead of minimum wage rate rises on 1 April.”
From next month, the UK minimum wage for over-25s will rise from £7.50 to £7.83 an hour/