Corporate giants and firms owned by billionaires have been named and shamed for not even paying their workers the minimum wage.
Investigated between 2016 and 2018 the 139 named companies failed to pay £6.7 million to over 95,000 workers in total, in a flagrant breach of employment law. The shamed companies range in size from small businesses to large multinationals.
The businesses were named by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) at the end of last week.
They include a hotel group controlled by the multi-billionaire tax exile Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
Ratcliffe, who has an estimated £12 billion fortune, owns 55 percent of Home Grown Hotels. It failed to pay £13,790 to 25 workers. The company said this related to “inadvertent breaches of very complex regulations” following “deductions made for staff accommodation and uniform deposits”.
Beis said, “One of the main causes of minimum wage breaches was low-paid employees being made to cover work costs, such as paying for uniform, training or parking fees.
“Also, some employers failed to raise employees’ pay after they had a birthday which should have moved them into a different National Minimum Wage bracket.”
Another firm cited by Beis was Britain’s largest private sector employer, Tesco. It underpaid 78,199 workers a total of £5.1 million.
Also on the list of offenders are the restaurant chain Pizza Hut, Superdrug Stores, Müller UK, The Lowry luxury hotel group and St Johnstone Football Club.