LONDON (Reuters) — British retailer Monsoon Accessorize has joined the ranks of companies to be named by the government for failing to pay some workers the national minimum wage.
The privately-owned company, which sells clothing and accessories, was found by U.K. tax authorities to have underpaid 1,438 workers, owing them a total of about 105,000 pounds.
The company said in a statement a review of its payroll practices with the HMRC tax office had revealed an historic, unintentional breach of regulations regarding its staff discount policies for Monsoon clothing.
Staff working in its stores were required to wear its clothes on duty, which were bought at a discount. However the cost of clothing was taken from its employees' pay, which meant some staff were taking home less than Britain's national minimum wage of 6.70 pounds an hour.
"Monsoon is pleased that this issue has been identified and has already taken prompt action to remedy it,” it said in a statement.
The firm was among 115 businesses that owed a total of 389,000 pounds to workers across sectors such as catering, social care and retail, the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills said on Friday.
Britain introduced a scheme to identify companies that flout the rules two years ago and has named 400 employers owing a total of 1.2 billion pounds. It has imposed penalties of more than 513,000 million pounds.