minimum wage
The government has named a total of 162 companies who aren't paying staff minimum wageGetty

The government has publicly "named and shamed" a further 70 companies who are failing to pay their staff the minimum wage.

Nursery homes, pizza restaurants and garages are among the businesses who have been found to be paying their staff below the minimum rate. Between them, these 70 employers owed workers a total of more than £157,000 ($242,000) and have been charged financial penalties totalling over £70,000.

Caring company East Midlands Crossroads was found to be the worst offender, owing 184 of its staff more than £37,000. The minimum wage for adults over the age of 21 is £6.50 an hour.

The latest "shamed" employers named by Business Minister Jo Swinson follows on from the 92 employers previous revealed by the government.

Swinson described companies not paying their workers the minimum wage as "illegal, immoral and completely unacceptable".

She added: "Naming and shaming gives a clear warning to employers who ignore the rules, that they will face reputational consequences as well as financial penalties of up to £20,000 if they don't pay the minimum wage.

"We're working hard in areas where we know there are particular problems, like the care sector, to make sure staff are paid fairly for the hard work they do.

"We are legislating through the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill so that this penalty can be applied to each underpaid worker rather than per employer.

"We are helping workers recover the hundreds of thousands of pounds in pay owed to them as well as raising awareness to make sure workers are paid fairly in the first place."

Care homes criticised

A number of care and residential homes have been named as not paying the minimum wage. Examples include James Kane Nursery in London and Young Friends Nursery in Hove, who owe £6,789 to just one worker.

Recent research by the Resolution Foundation said 160,000 care home workers are paid less than the minimum wage, an underpayment of £130m a year.

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said: "We want a fairer society where everyone gets the care they deserve - to do this we need a skilled, valued and fairly paid workforce. There is absolutely no excuse for employers that fail to pay the minimum wage.

"We know the 100 care companies being investigated are just the tip of the iceberg in the care sector and are absolutely committed to getting back the wages people have worked so hard for. We will continue to name, shame and fine these employers until every care provider gets the message."

Failure to pay staff

Elsewhere, Delcom Systems in Salisbury neglected to pay one worker £11,731.52, while KRCS (Digital Solutions) in Nottingham failed to pay £5,161.85 to five workers.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "We welcome today's list and encourage the government to make public the hundreds of other minimum wage cheats they know about as soon as possible.

"If we want to stamp out this criminal behaviour then all employers who under-pay their staff must be publicly named and shamed.

"We need more prosecutions and higher fines. Cheating bosses who fleece their workers out of their hard-earned pay must end up in court.

"And there are still lots of under-paying employers who are getting away with it. More inspectors are needed so we can make sure that every single minimum wage cheat is caught."

The new list of companies named by the government arrived after independent body Low Pay Commission (LPC) recommended a 3% rise in the current minimum wage for adults to £6.70.

Five companies who underpaid the most

    • East Midlands Crossroads - Caring for Carers, Nottingham, neglected to pay £37,592.56 to 184 workers
    • Delcom Systems Ltd, Salisbury, neglected to pay £11,731.52 to a worker
    • S Hanns LLP, Chatham, neglected to pay £8,448.84 to a worker
    • The Apostolic Church trading as James Kane Nursery, London, neglected to pay £8,347.71 to 2 workers
    • Young Friends Nursery Ltd, Hove, neglected to pay £6,789.71 to a worker