Norman Lamb, the care minister, said there was ‘absolutely no excuse’ for employers who fail to pay the minimum wage.
About 100 social care companies in England are being investigated for their alleged failure to pay their workers the national minimum wage while HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is conducting its own proactive inquiry into practices at six of the largest employers in the sector, the government has announced.
Ministers say the investigations that have followed complaints to a special helpline represent “just the tip of the iceberg in the care sector” and have promised to “name, shame and fine employers” until every care provider gets the message.
The scale of the crackdown was revealed as two more care companies were named as part of the campaign to bring employers into line on minimum pay rates. Another, named last month, was the first in the sector to be outed for failures in this area.
Norman Lamb, the care minister, said: “We want a fairer society where everyone gets the care they deserve – to do this we need a skilled, valued and fairly paid workforce. There is absolutely no excuse for employers that fail to pay the minimum wage.
“We know the 100 care companies being investigated are just the tip of the iceberg in the care sector and are absolutely committed to getting back the wages people have worked so hard for.”
HMRC investigates complaints made to the pay and work rights helpline and also conducts its own checks in areas where there is considered a higher risk of workers not being paid the legal minimum wage.
Those breaking the law face having to have to pay back the arrears owed to workers, a financial penalty and being publicly named.