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Adverse publicity for those who breach national minimum wage legislation

13 January 2011

On 1 January 2011, the Government introduced a policy of naming and shaming employers who ignore national minimum wage legislation. It was originally intended that there would be a maintained public register. It has been confirmed that such employers will instead be named in a BIS press release.

Matters will only be referred to BIS where total arrears are at least £2k and average arrears are at least £500 per worker.

The scheme is unlikely to have an impact on those employers who are in breach inadvertently (e.g. misunderstandings about the rules on hours ‘on-call’ and subsistence payments etc).  Even if an employer knowingly/deliberately fails to comply with national minimum wage obligations, it will have 28 days to make representations to BIS against being named.

Given that local and possibly national newspapers might be inclined to report this information, it is something to be mindful of.  It might also provide a useful means of deciding whether or not to enter into business with a particular employer.

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