Two businesses in Cornwall have been "named and shamed" for failing to properly pay their lowest-paid staff minimum wage.

However, with the data going back five years or more, one said that it felt "like a slap in the face" for the government to be publishing it now. 

A list released online at this week begins with the explanation: "Over 200 employers are today being named and shamed by government for failing to pay their lowest paid staff the minimum wage."

The 208 employers were found to have failed to pay their workers £1.2 million in breaches of National Minimum Wage law, leaving around 12,000 workers out of pocket.

However, many of the breaches on the list published by the government last Thursday date back five years ago or more – and in two cases from ten years ago. 

Among them is Merchants Manor Limited in Falmouth, which is said to have failed to pay £552.92 to 87 hotel workers between January 2013 and September 2016. 

The Packet contacted the hotel's co-owner Nick Rudlin, who said he did not wish to comment. 

Also listed is Carol Spinks Homecare Ltd in Saltash, which is reported to have failed to pay £10,436.77 to 11 workers, between April 2015 and February 2016.

Company secretary Mat Spinks said: "We misunderstood the requirements to add travel time into our wage calculator. This was pointed out to us in 2016, that we had to include it.

"We went back through all our payroll and paid everyone on there with that, and made sure the National Minimum Wage was inclusive of people's travel time. We have done that ever since."

He added that the company had worked hard to care for people throughout the pandemic, and to have the information published now by the government, for something going back five years, "feels like a bit of a slap in the face".

Companies being named nationally range from multinational businesses and large high street names to small and medium enterprises and sole traders, with the government hoping it "sends a message that no employer is exempt from paying their workers the statutory minimum wage."

The government said these businesses have since had to pay back what they owe to staff and also face significant financial penalties of up to 20% of what was owed, which are paid to the government. The investigations by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs concluded between 2014 and 2019.

Minister for Labour Markets Paul Scully said: "We want workers to know that we're on their side and they must be treated fairly by their employers, which is why paying the legal minimum wage should be non-negotiable for businesses.

Don't be a scrooge

"Today's 208 businesses, whatever their size, should know better than to short-change hard-working employees, regardless of whether it was intentional or not.

"With Christmas fast approaching, it is more important than ever that cash is not withheld from the pockets of workers. So don't be a scrooge - pay your staff properly."

Who else has been 'shamed'?

You can use the table below to find all businesses in the UK which have been 'named and shamed' by the government.