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Employers flouting NMW laws are now more likely to be named

The naming scheme which makes public the names of employers who flout National Minimum Wage (NMW) law has recently been revised. The changes, which came into force at the beginning of October 2013, strip back restrictions to make it easier to name employers who break the law.

Previously, employers had to meet one of seven criteria before they could be named. The minimum amount of NMW owed to workers had to be at least £2,000 and the average owed per worker at least £500 before an employer could be referred for naming.

The revised scheme will make it possible to name any employer who breaks minimum wage law.

Last financial year, HMRC identified 736 employers who had failed to pay the NMW, and recovered £3.9 million in unpaid wages for more than 26,500 workers. But only one employer so far has been named under the scheme.

The Low Pay Commission welcomed the revision and said that the changes 'should encourage greater compliance and help the low paid'.

Most UK workers over school leaving age are legally entitled to be paid at least the NMW. Those eligible include agency workers, casual workers, part-time workers, pieceworkers, homeworkers and anyone working on commission.

Those not entitled include the self-employed, volunteers, students on work experience, people on certain training schemes, some company directors, workers living in an employer's household, residents of certain religious communities, prisoners, the armed forces and share fishermen.

As well as being named, employers can face criminal prosecution and unlimited fines for failing to pay at least the NMW to eligible workers.

Acas gives detailed advice on the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage and can help organisations find practical solutions to related issues. Visit Pay and reward: how Acas can help and the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects page for more information.

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