Convenience stores have been named and shamed in the government’s latest list of businesses breaking national minimum wage law.
Of the 191 businesses who failed to pay national minimum wage between 2011 and 2018, seven convenience stores were named. These were a McColl’s in Brentwood (failed to pay £258,047.80 to 4,366 workers), a One Stop in Walsall (£56,505.04 to 2,631 workers), 7 to 10 Food & Wine in Cardiff (£9,573.74 to two workers), Your Local Food & Wine in Cardiff (£6,144.27 to six workers), North East Convenience Store Limited (Spar) in Northumberland (£1,853.62 to 81 workers), Amar Anwar trading as a post office in Newcastle upon Tyne (£1,711.04 to two workers) and R & A Food & Wine in Lewisham (£678.60 to one worker).
Named employers have since been made to pay back what they owed and were fined an additional £3.2 million for the underpayment.
It is the responsibility of all employers to abide by minimum wage law. Guidance can be found on the government’s website here.
The employers named underpaid workers in the following ways:
- 47% wrongly deducted pay from workers’ wages, including for uniform and expenses
- 30% failed to pay workers for all the time they had worked, such as when they worked overtime
- 19% paid the incorrect apprenticeship rate
Business minister Paul Scully said: “Our minimum wage laws are there to ensure a fair day’s work gets a fair day’s pay – it is unacceptable for any company to come up short.
“All employers, including those on this list, need to pay workers properly.”
Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage have to pay back arrears of wages to the worker at current minimum wage rates. They also face hefty financial penalties of up to 200% of arrears, capped at £20,000 per worker, which are paid to the government.
Since 2015, the government has ordered employers to repay over £100 million to 1 million workers.
A significant number of the minimum wage breaches recently identified affected those on apprenticeships.
Chair of the Low Pay Commission, Bryan Sanderson, said: “These are very difficult times for all workers, particularly those on low pay who are often undertaking critical tasks in a variety of key sectors including care.
“The minimum wage provides a crucial level of support and compliance is essential for the benefit of both the recipients and our society as a whole.”
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