By Daniel Hunter
The government has named and shamed another 70 businesses that have failed to pay the National Minimum Wage (NMW).
East Midlands Crossroads, a care provider, was the worst offender revealed, owing £37,500 to 184 workers. The government said there are more than 100 investigations ongoing in the care sector for minimum wage offending.
The latest list of offenders brings the total to 160 since the government embarked on its strategy of naming and shaming.
It is hoped that the financial penalties and damage to reputations will be enough to deter businesses from failing to pail the minimum wage.
Business minister Jo Swinson said that not paying NMW is illegal, immoral and completely unacceptable.
She said: "Naming and shaming gives a clear warning to employers who ignore the rules, that they will face reputational consequences as well as financial penalties of up to £20,000 if they don't pay the minimum wage."
"We are helping workers recover the hundreds of thousands of pounds in pay owed to them as well as raising awareness to make sure workers are paid fairly in the first place."
Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the TUC, called for higher fines and even prosecution.
"Cheating bosses who fleece their workers out of their hard earned pay must end up in court - and there are still lots of under-paying employers who are getting away with it," she said.