In April this year, the Low Pay Commission called on the government to resume ‘naming and shaming’ as part of a package to crack down on bad bosses, warning that over 400,000 workers were illegally unpaid last year.
However, following a review of the practice at the end of 2018, which is currently ongoing, UK Government ministers have since admitted that they are no longer ‘naming and shaming’ employers who illegally fail to pay workers the national minimum wage. The last official ‘naming’ round was nearly ago on 6 July 2018, when 239 employers were found to have underpaid 22,400 UK workers by a total of £1.44 million.
The national minimum wage has continued to grow year on year, with the national living wage topping out at £8.21 as of April 2019. It has been portrayed as a key policy success. However the sudden cessation of naming and shaming offenders seems at odds with the Government’s drive to reduce employer malpractice, particularly within the gig economy. It also removes an effective enforcement tool and incentive on employers to comply with minimum wage rates.