Employers who deliberately flout the national minimum wage law will be named and shamed in press notices, as well as being prosecuted.
The Government announced the scheme in October and it came into effect alongside amendments to how travel expenses are treated under the minimum wage on 1 January.
According to the policy document: “The objective of the naming scheme is to raise awareness of NMW enforcement and deter employers who would otherwise be tempted to flout NMW law.”
Workers, potential recruits and other businesses that the employer may deal with will have access to the information so they can make “informed choices” about who they work for, or who they do business with.
The Government has stressed that it is not an alternative to prosecution and employers will not be named while proceedings are underway. However, a press notice will be issued immediately if they are successfully prosecuted.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will also refer cases to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to be named in a press release if:
- there is evidence that the employer knowingly or deliberately failed to comply with their national minimum wage obligations;
- the employer had previously received advice from HMRC about the steps they needed to comply with the national minimum wage and has not taken those steps;
- the employer has failed to take adequate steps to keep or preserve minimum wage records;
- there is evidence that the employer has delayed or obstructed a national minimum wage compliance officer in the performance of their duties;
- there is evidence that the employer has refused or neglected to answer questions put to them by a compliance officer;
- the employer has refused or neglected to provide information or produce documents to a compliance officer; or
- the employer refused or neglected to pay arrears of the minimum wage to workers, following HMRC intervention, which has resulted in HMRC taking action against the employer to ensure payment of arrears to worker.
For more information on the national minimum wage, read the XpertHR FAQs.