Business minister Margot James made the warning in the wake of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s publication this week of 198 businesses that were found to owe money to workers.
A number of hospitality businesses featured on the wide-ranging list, including a hotel in south London that owed over £99,000 to 30 workers; and a prominent hotel in Scotland, which owed over £2,000 to six workers. All of the money has now been paid back to those owed.
The businesses affected have been contacted for comment.
The list is part of the government’s scheme to name and shame companies that it deems to have failed to pay staff correctly, which was introduced in October 2013. Since then, over 688 employers have been named, with total arrears of more than £3.5m.
The National Living Wage (£7.20 per hour) for workers aged 25 and over was introduced this year, with workers under age 25 still required to be paid the previous National Minimum Wage levels (£6.70 for age 21-24, £5.30 for ages 18-20, £3.87 for ages 16-17, and £3.30 for apprentices).
James said: “This government is determined to build an economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged few. That means making sure everyone gets paid the wages they are owed – including our new, higher, National Living Wage. It is not acceptable that some employers fail to pay at least the minimum wage their workers are entitled to. So we’ll continue to crack down on those who ignore the law.”