The government has named a string of Southampton businesses that did not pay their staff the minimum wage.

Some 524 businesses have been named nationwide, with employers ordered to repay staff a combined total of nearly £16million, alongside an additional financial penalty.

More than 172,000 workers have been affected across the country, with the national living wage rising by 9.8 per cent – £11.44 an hour – on April 1, 2024.

The Southampton businesses who failed to pay their staff the national minimum wage – revealed by the government – are Martin Back Carpentry Limited, SO19, which failed to pay one member of staff £1,540.63.

Auto Spa Hand Car Wash Ltd failed to pay £1,366.61 to four workers.

Maya Polish Supermarket Ltd failed to pay six members of staff £1,299.28.

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In Eastleigh, B&Q PLC failed to pay £33,887.41 to 77 staff members and Blue Diamond UK Limited failed to pay £41,018.14 to 732 workers.

Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Businesses, Kevin Hollinrake, commented: “Employees deserve to get paid properly for the hard work they put in.

“While the majority of businesses already do the right thing and pay their staff what they are owed, today’s announcement sends a message to the minority who aren’t - that there are repercussions to undercutting hard work from their staff.”

Elsewhere, Enjoy Tree Care Ltd, based in Fareham, failed to pay three staff members a total of £3,449.54 and Hampshire Delights Limited in Gosport didn’t pay seven workers a combined £994.51.

Independent Commissioner at the Low Pay Commission, Patricia Rice, said: “Since its introduction nearly twenty-five years ago, the national minimum wage has played a vital role in protecting the earnings of the lowest-paid workers in the UK. 

“At a time when the cost-of-living is rising, it is more important than ever that these workers receive the pay to which they are entitled.”

She added: “NMW (national minimum wage) underpayment not only cheats workers of their rightful due, it leaves compliant firms undercut by those who do not abide by the law.

“By naming the firms responsible for significant underpayment, we raise awareness of the nature and the scale of underpayment and encourage all employers to ensure that they fully comply with the law.”