Northamptonshire firms ‘named and shamed’ for paying less than minimum wage

Labour's Sally Keeble has welcomed the naming of firms which have paid employees less than minimum wage.
Labour's Sally Keeble has welcomed the naming of firms which have paid employees less than minimum wage.

Labour candidate Sally Keeble has called on the Government to come down harder on firms who do not pay minimum wage - after two were named in Northamptonshire.

Yesterday, The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills published a list of 25 employers who failed to give staff the statutory amount following the implementation of tougher laws in October 2013.

On the list were two Northamptonshire firms - Avenue Agricultural, of Raunds, which underpaid a worker by £256.55 and Brackmill-based industrial lighting company Dakal Ltd, which paid an employee £252 lower than required.

Northampton North labour candidate Sally Keeble said she was disappointed to see two local firms named.

“It’s one of the biggest issues facing us today.” She said. “They think they can get away with it, which is why this naming and shaming is so important.”

Though she welcomed the list published by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, Mrs Keeble said the Government needs to be more ‘rigorous’ about its prosecution, particularly in targeting big companies.

The HMRC said this week that more than £4.6m had been paid out to 22,000 underpaid workers, including staff at a ‘Premier League club’, who had been paid less than the minimum wage.

Mrs Keeble said: “It’s a scandal that a major club can underpay its workers with the amount they make.

“I just hope the Government steps this up now and we see more and more employers named and shamed.”

Director of Dakal Ltd, Simon Linnell, said: “We greatly value our staff and their hard work and therefore we were disappointed to be notified of this genuine mistake in our accounting.” ,

“The mistake saw a shortfall of £252.62 which was paid to staff as soon as the mistake came to light.

“We also ensured we paid the fine of £61.96 immediately. We are reviewing our accounting systems to ensure that this matter is rectified and does not happen again.”

Business minister Jenny Willott said: “Paying less than the minimum wage is not only wrong, it’s illegal. If employers break the law they need to know that they will face tough consequences.”