Elstree-based contractor has been exposed as one of 202 companies ordered to repay staff
Kier-owned McNicholas Construction has been named as one of 202 companies failing to pay staff the legal minimum wage.
The Elstree-based contractor is among the top 10 offenders, having failed to pay £170,517.57 to 704 workers.
The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) published a list this week with the businesses that are not paying the legal minimum wage to their lowest-paid workers.
The findings come after an HMRC investigation between 2017 and 2019.
Other companies included in the list are Toolstation, BNP Paribas Real Estate Advisory & Property Management, Marks & Spencer, Argos and WH Smith.
Of the employers named by DBT, 39% deducted pay from workers’ wages, 39% failed to pay workers correctly for their working time, and 21% paid the incorrect apprenticeship rate.
Employers have been ordered to repay staff and face penalties of nearly £7m after breaches left 63,000 workers out of pocket.
Minister for enterprise, markets and small business Kevin Hollinrake said: “Paying the legal minimum wage is non-negotiable and all businesses, whatever their size, should know better than to short-change hard-working staff.
“Most businesses do the right thing and look after their employees, but we’re sending a clear message to the minority who ignore the law: pay your staff properly or you’ll face the consequences.”
The national minimum wage (NMW) was introduced in the UK in 1999.
From April 2023, the NMW is £10.18 for those aged 21 to 22, £7.49 for people aged 18 to 20 and £5.28 for those under 18 and apprentices.
Workers aged 23 and over who are not in the first year of an apprenticeship are legally entitled to at least the national living wage of £10.42 per hour.
Kier acquired McNicholas in 2017 in a bid to strengthen its utilities and infrastructure services business.
A Kier spokesperson said: “These practices were carried out by McNicholas Construction before we acquired the company in 2017. However, as a responsible business we took action at the time to redress this matter.
“As an accredited real living wage (RLW) employer, we remain committed to providing competitive salaries and excellent benefits for our people.”