American casual dining chain TGI Fridays has been highlighted and fined for underpaying thousands of employees alongside 179 employers.
British restaurant chain Wagamama’s has also been identified as the main culprit in the report by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as failing to pay £133,212 to 2,630 workers, while TGI Fridays has failed to pay £59,347 to 2,302 workers.
These findings come ahead of the next rate rise on 1 April when the National Living Wage will rise from £7.50 to £7.83 per hour.
A spokesperson for TGI Fridays UK ensured that the company pays at least the National Minimum Wage hourly rate and attributed the payment to a ‘misunderstanding’ of how minimum wage applies to worker’s uniforms.
TGI Fridays has also recently been criticised over a proposal to redistribute card tips from waiters to kitchen staff in February 2018.
Business minister Andrew Griffiths said: “The world of work is changing and we have set out our plans to give millions of workers enhanced rights to ensure everyone is paid and treated fairly in the workplace.
“There are no excuses for short-changing workers. This is an absolute red line for this government and employers who cross it will get caught—not only are they forced to pay back every penny but they are also fined up to 200% of wages owed.
“Today’s naming round serves as a sharp reminder to employers to get their house in order ahead of minimum wage rate rises on 1 April.”
In total, 9,200 minimum wage workers have been underpaid by £1.1 million with fines of £1.3 million against the 179 employers.