A BUSINESS in Northumberland has been 'named and shamed' for failing to pay their lowest-paid staff the basic minimum wage.

208 employers have been discovered to have failed to pay their workers £1.2 million, clearly breaching National Minimum Wage law. Approximately 12,000 workers were affected by lost wages.

Among them is Northumberland-based Mr Rupert Galliers-Pratt, which failed to pay £64,094.37 to seven workers. On average, this amounted to over £9,000 arrears per worker.

This arrears period extended from 2009 until 2014, which was the longest period of businesses named and shamed.

The company specialises in architectural and engineering activities, technical testing, and analysis.

Companies named included multinational businesses and large high street names, along with small and medium enterprises and sole traders.

By naming the businesses, the government made a clear statement that no employer is exempt from paying their workers the statutory minimum wage.

These businesses have since paid back what they owe to staff and also face significant financial penalties of up to 200 per cent 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."

These companies, "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."

Other named and shamed businesses include Darlington-based retail company, The Tanning Shop, which owes 355 workers £34,738.83.