Since 1 October 2013 any employer who is issued with a notice of underpayment in relation to the national minimum wage can be publicly named by BIS. The idea of naming and shaming employers who don't comply with the national minimum wage is not a new one, but since October 2013, the various criteria that previously needed to apply before being publicly identified have been removed meaning that any employer, irrespective of size, may be identified as non compliant if a notice of underpayment has been issued.
The purpose is to not only to allow employees and prospective employees to understand their employer (or prospective employer's) compliance with the national minimum wage legislation but also to allow other organisations to make an informed decision about dealing with them in light of their failure to comply with a fairly basic principle of employment law.
There is no doubt that this increases the stakes in terms of non compliance with the national minimum wage requirements. Not only can non compliant employers expect to have to pay the worker arrears of pay and a fine, but they now also face public scrutiny and damage to their image. This is particularly so given that the list of non compliant employers has been widely reported in the press.
Compliance with the national minimum wage is not always as straightforward as it first appears. Tricky issues in terms of the national minimum wage can arise where a worker is on a fixed salary but working very long hours, or where an individual is on call and not paid for that time. To ensure compliance with the national minimum wage, employers should ensure that workers aged 21 and over are paid a minimum of £6.31 per hour (rising to £6.50 per hour in October). Different rates apply for younger workers and apprentices.
A full list of the 25 employers "named and shamed" can be found here.