Saints 'named and shamed' for paying 117 workers below the minimum wage

Wagamama fined for failing to pay the minimum wage

Almost 180 employers in Britain were named and shamed on Friday for underpaying more than 9,000 minimum wage workers by 1.52 million US dollars.

Underpayers also include the football clubs Stoke City and Birmingham City, the rugby union club London Irish, as well as hairdressers, cafes and vehicle wash firms.

Wagamama said it has always paid minimum wage and makes sure that staff receive 100% of their tips - saying there had been an "inadvertent misunderstanding" of the rules and it had acted immediately to correct this.

A total of £1.1m in back pay was identified for 9,200 workers, with retail, hairdressing and hospitality businesses the most prolific offenders.

Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said: "The world of work is changing and we have set out our plans to give millions of workers enhanced rights to ensure everyone is paid and treated fairly in the workplace".

Employers could not only face negative publicity by being "named and shamed" for failing to pay the minimum wage, but might also be fined up to £20,000 and face criminal sanctions, according to Tim Goodwin, solicitor at Winckworth Sherwood.

"Today's naming round serves as a sharp reminder to employers to get their house in order ahead of minimum wage rate rises on April 1".

Thursday (UK) Limited, trading as TGI Friday's, Luton LU1, failed to pay £59,347.64 to 2,302 workers.

In Norfolk, the only company to be named on the list was SBDP1 Ltd, which runs the Coach House care home in Hemsby, which was found to have underpaid 67 staff a total of £2,275 - equivalent to £33.95 per worker - between January 31, 2011 and August 7, 2016.

Employers have underpaid a total of 9,200 employees by more than £1 million.

On that date, the National Living Wage will go up from £7.50 to £7.83 per hour.

"We have gladly made payments to current and previous employees who missed out dating back from 2016 to 2013".

"HMRC's investigation concluded that the club had complied with the National Minimum Wage regulations for all staff over the period 2012 to 2017, save for these voluntary deductions".

He added: "When an error was identified by a routine HMRC audit in 2015, we cooperated fully with HMRC and promptly reimbursed all those affected".

A TGI Fridays spokesperson said the firm had reimbursed team members for a shoe allowance.

Martyn Dobinson, Director at Saffery Champness in Manchester, said: "We were aware past year of a number of instances where HMRC was carrying out compliance checks in the rural sector to see that minimum wage levels were being met".

"We apologise to all our associates impacted by this error, and have taken steps to ensure it can not happen again".