Is it right to name and shame tech retailers and repairers who aren’t paying the minimum wage?

After the Government announced plans it will make the National Living Wage (NLW) compulsory throughout the UK by 2020, the Government has since released its latest name-and-shame list of employers.

Business Minister Nick Boles revealed the list, which highlights employers who have failed to pay the national minimum wage (NMW), and retailer Monsoon has made it to the top for failing to pay £104,508 to 1,438 workers.

The minimum wage must be paid by employers, but the living wage is something they can choose to adopt. 

115 companies have made it onto the list, spanning sectors including hairdressing, retail, education, catering and social care.

The 115 companies on the list neglected to pay more than £389,000 to employees between them.

Boles said: “Employers that fail to pay the minimum wage hurt the living standards of the lowest paid and their families.

“As a one nation government on the side of working people we are determined that everyone who is entitled to the National Minimum Wage receives it.”

Other firms who have been shamed include Tyne & Wear Riding for the Disabled Association and Carl Keith Salons Ltd, but among the list various tech retailers have also made the cut.

For example, Printer Cartridge Supplies Ltd neglected to pay £1,096.19 to one worker, while PCC UK International Ltd, trading as We Love Laptops, did not pay £1,079.07 to three workers.

Since the naming and shaming scheme was introduced in October 2013, 400 employers have been called out, with total arrears of over £1,181,000 and total penalties of over £513,000.

A recent poll carried out by the Government also revealed that 80 per cent of the telecoms sector is unaware that they could be facing a fine of up to £20,000 for not paying the NMW.

Although it is important to reveal which businesses are not meeting the rules set up by the UK Government, is it fair to name and shame tech retailers?

The NLW will rise to £7.20 an hour form April for workers over the age of 25, and will rise again to £9 by 2020, plus on October 1st, 2015, the NMW also rose to £6.70.

Boles added: “Next April we will introduce a new National Living Wage which will mean a £900-a-year pay rise for someone working full time on the minimum wage and we will enforce this equally robustly.”

It could be fair to say that indie tech retailers may not be able to afford to pay the new NMW, or the increased NLW, which will come into force in 2020.

However, George Osborne Chancellor of the Exchequer previously revealed that although wages are going up, corporation tax is being lowered, meaning businesses should be able to afford to pay their employees a fair wage.

Despite some tech firms making it into the list, other indie retailers have adopted the NLW, including Utopia Computers.

The company is the first within Scotland to offer its staff members the wage scheme.

Although it could be deemed unfair to shame tech retailers, trade union body TUC has welcomed the news, and believes this is the ‘tip of the iceberg’, reports the BBC.

Let’s hope that businesses will start to take the NMW and NLW more seriously, and ensure that their employees are being paid fairly.

Image source: Shutterstock

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