Successful National Minimum Wage prosecution

David Jackson and Pauline Smout, butchers from Sheffield, are the first employers to be successfully prosecuted under s31(1) of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 – which means that they refused or wilfully neglected to remunerate their workers. Previous prosecutions under the Act, but mainly in relation to failure to keep proper records.

Given that underpaid workers have a civil remedy in the tribunals, and that the NMW enforcement team are (so I hear) happy to deal with minor infringements without recourse to prosecutions, their conduct must have been brazen to get as far as this. The HMRC press release is here. Anyone else think that a combined fine of £800 is a bit on the light side? It may well be that when they’ve paid the arrears/compensation they’ve not much left in the pot to pay any larger fine anyway.