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Shoe Zone, Karen Millen ‘named and shamed’ over minimum wage

Karen Millen and Shoe Zone are among the firms that have been ‘named and shamed’ by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for failing to pay their employees the minimum wage.

In a list of 179 companies, Karen Millen failed to pay £9,847.20 to 28 workers while Shoe Zone underpaid 15 workers by £804.88.

Bedroom furniture retailer, Feather and Black, was also named for failing to pay £1,333.25 to 31 workers.

As well as recovering back-pay for 9,200 workers, the government also fined the employers a total of £1.3m for breaking national minimum wage laws. Retailers, hospitality businesses and hairdressers were the worst-offending firms in the most recent list.

It comes ahead of the next rate rise on 1 April, when the National Living Wage will go up from £7.50 to £7.83 per hour. Apprentices under the age of 19 and those in the first year of their apprenticeship will benefit from a record 5.7% rise.

Later this month BEIS will launch a campaign to raise awareness of the new rates and encourage workers to speak to their employer if they think they are being underpaid.

This 14th naming round comes after the government published its Good Work plan last month, which announced the right to a payslip for all workers. The new law is likely to benefit around 300,000 UK workers who do not currently get a payslip.

For those paid by the hour, payslips will also have to include how many hours the worker is paid for, making pay easier to understand and challenge if it is wrong.

Business minister Andrew Griffiths said: “The world of work is changing and we have set out our plans to give millions of workers enhanced rights to ensure everyone is paid and treated fairly in the workplace.

“There are no excuses for short-changing workers. This is an absolute red line for this government and employers who cross it will get caught – not only are they forced to pay back every penny but they are also fined up to 200% of wages owed.”

He added: “Today’s naming round serves as a sharp reminder to employers to get their house in order ahead of minimum wage rate rises on 1 April.”

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