By Daniel Hunter

Thirty-seven companies, including fashion retailer H&M and service station operator Welcome Break, have been "named and shamed" for not paying the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

It is the single largest such list published by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).

The 37 companies are to be fined a total of £51,000 and must back-pay affected employees, which is expected to reach £177,000.

H&M blamed logging errors for failing to pay minimum wage and Welcome Break said it was due to an IT error.

The government has now named 55 businesses that have failed to pay minimum wage since October 2013.

Business Minister Jo Swinson said: "Paying less than the minimum wage is illegal, immoral and completely unacceptable.

"If employers break this law they need to know that we will take tough action by naming, shaming and fining them as well as helping workers recover the hundreds of thousands of pounds in pay owed to them."

"H&M employs over 9,500 people in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately due to errors within some of our stores concerning time logging, 540 employees were accidentally underpaid the national minimum wage," it said in a statement.

"The average underpayment for those affected was £4.82. All such arrears were immediately processed and we accept that the errors should not have occurred.

"HMRC have confirmed that they were happy with H&M's complete transparency cooperation and full engagement with the process."

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