BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 28 October '15

Monsoon Accessorize Ltd tops list of employers failing to pay the minimum wage

Over 100 employers who have failed to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage (NMW) have been named and shamed on a government list.

Fashion brands rated – 85% of major fashion companies don’t pay workers enough to meet basic needs

£387k owed

Between them, the 113 companies owed workers over £387,000 in arrears, and span sectors including hairdressing, retail, education, catering and social care.

Since the scheme was introduced in October 2013, 398 employers have been named and shamed, with total arrears of over £1,179,000 and total penalties of over £511,000.

‘The government must continue to increase enforcement of the minimum wage, and ensure that all workers get what they are owed. Bosses who try to duck the minimum wage should have nowhere to hide.’

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary

Monsoon Accessorize Ltd

Monsoon Accessorize Ltd topped the list of shame for failing to pay 1,438 of its workers a total sum of £104,507.83.

The news came just ahead of reports that Peter Simon, the chain’s millionaire owner, plans to knock five houses into one and build a palatial family home – complete with underground swimming pool, gym, sauna, Jacuzzi, wine cellar and two apartments.

Name and shame scheme

The naming and shaming scheme was revised in October 2013 to make it simpler to name and shame employers that do not comply with minimum wage rules.

The 113 cases named were thoroughly investigated by HMRC.

‘It’s good to see that the government is naming and shaming more companies who pay their employees less than the minimum wage. However, today’s list of offenders is only the tip of the iceberg. Many more employers are getting away with illegal underpayment.

‘I am particularly saddened to see Monsoon Accessorize acting in breach of the law. A large firm with thousands of employees has no excuse for not having proper systems in place to ensure staff get their legal wages.’

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary

NMW rates

On 1 October 2015, the National Minimum Wage went up to £6.70 – but the rates vary according to workers’ circumstances.

  • Adult rate (21 years old and over): £6.70 per hour
  • 18 to 20-year-olds: £5.30 per hour
  • 16 to 17-year-olds: £3.87 per hour
  • Apprentice rate: £3.30 per hour

The apprentice rate applies to apprentices aged 16 to 18 years and those aged 19 years and over who are in their first year. All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage rate for their age.

The 5 worst offenders

  1. Monsoon Accessorize Ltd, London W11, neglected to pay £104,507.83 to 1,438 workers
  2. Tyne & Wear Riding for the Disabled Association, trading as Washington Riding Centre, Washington, neglected to pay £27,151.79 to 6 workers
  3. Project Security UK Ltd, Doncaster, neglected to pay £23,857.11 to 18 workers
  4. Carl Keith Salons Ltd, Prescot, neglected to pay £20,535.03 to 5 workers
  5. Cornwall Glass & Glazing Ltd, trading as Exeter & MacKenzie Glass Centre, Exeter, neglected to pay £14,253.66 to 9 workers

Click here to find out more about the National Minimum Wage.