PRIMARK and Sports Direct are among 260 employers who have been “named and shamed” by the Government for failing to pay staff the national minimum wage.
The Department for Business (BEIS) identified 16,000 employees who were owed a combined £1.7 million in back pay.
That’s the highest number of workers affected since it first published the list in 2013.
The businesses named on the list have also been fined a total of £1.3 million by the Government.
Affected staff included almost 9,800 workers at Primark and nearly 400 employees at Sports Direct.
Primark had to repay £231,973 for refusing to pay back workers for their uniforms.
Sports Direct had to pay back a total of £167,036 to their staff, after last year’s review of working conditions at the company.
Its two agencies were also identified in the report.
The BEIS said the most common reasons for not meeting the rules included failing to pay workers travelling between jobs, not paying overtime and deducting money for uniforms.
Other offenders included employment group Best Connection, which failed to pay almost £470,000 to 2,558 workers.
The five firms having to repay the most:
- The Best Connection Group Limited, Bromsgrove B61, failed to pay £469,273.83 to 2,558 workers.
- Qualitycourse Limited trading as Transline Group, Calderdale HD6, failed to pay £310,302.12 to 1,421 workers.
- Primark Stores Limited, Reading RG1, failed to pay £231,973.12 to 9,735 workers.
- Sports Direct.com Retail Limited, Bolsover NG20, failed to pay £167,036.24 to 383 workers.
- Edward Mackay Contractor Ltd, Highland KW9, failed to pay £51,403.65 to four workers.
Business minister Margot James said:”There is no excuse for not paying staff the wages they’re entitled to and the Government will come down hard on businesses that break the rules.
“That’s why today we are naming hundreds of employers who have been short changing their workers; and to ensure there are consequences for their wallets as well as their reputation, we’ve levied millions in back pay and fines.”
A spokesperson for Sports Direct said:”This matter relates to the historical situation in our warehouse that was widely publicised in 2016, for which we apologised at the time.
“We cooperated fully with HMRC to make back payments to Sports Direct staff who were affected.”
A Primark spokesperson said: “Following a routine audit by HMRC, Primark confirms it has paid a number of its employees in instances where HMRC deemed these employees to have received less than the National Minimum Wage.
“The average amount paid per employee was £23.75 and relates to a workwear policy that was changed in 2016 and also to administration costs for court orders involving a small number of staff.”