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  • Skem firm named on national list of employers who have underpaid workers

    Henry James

    THE Government has named Skelmersdale-based AsPro Security Services Limited on a national list of employers who have underpaid workers.

    The West Lancashire company was number 33 on a list of 239 businesses who have been found to have not paid the National Living Wage or Minimum Wage to 22,400 UK workers by a total of £1.44m, HM Revenue and Customs said.

    Between April 2013 and November 2017 the Skem business failed to pay a total of £5, 617.90 to 107 workers, with average arrears of £52.50 per worker.

    AsPro, which is based at West Lancs Technology Centre, Moss Lane View, is a security services supplier specialising in the design, installation and maintenance of products such as CCTV.

    The Minimum Wage is for people of school leaving age and the National Living Wage is for people aged 25 and over.

    The top five reasons for National Minimum and Living Wage underpayments in this round were: taking deductions from wages for costs such as uniforms; underpaying apprentices; failing to pay travel time; misusing the accommodation offset; and using the wrong time periods for calculating pay.

    The scheme is in its fifth year and calls out employers who have fallen foul of minimum wage laws, so far identifying £10.8m in back pay for around 90,000 workers, with more than 1,900 employers fined a total of £8.4m.

    Priority

    HMRC has launched a series of ‘webinars’, available on GOV.UK, to help employers check that they are complying with the law.

    The Government is currently running a campaign to raise awareness of the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates, which increased on April 1 2018, as well as encouraging workers who have been underpaid to complain to HMRC. The campaign website has had more than 600,000 visits since the campaign kicked off on April 1.

    Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage have to pay back arrears of wages to the worker at current minimum wage rates and face financial penalties of up to 200% of arrears, capped at £20,000 per worker.

    Business minister, Andrew Griffiths, said: “Our priority is making sure workers know their rights and are getting the pay they worked hard for.

    “Employers who don’t do the right thing face fines as well as being hit with the bill for backpay.

    “The UK’s lowest paid workers have had the fastest wage growth in 20 years thanks to the introduction of the National Living Wage and today’s list serves as a reminder to all employers to check they are getting their workers’ pay right.”

    AsPro has been contacted for comment.


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