Seven car dealers and garages were named by HM Revenue & Customs in its list of employers who failed to pay workers minimum wage.
In total, 139 companies were named after 95,000 workers missed £6.7m between 2016 and 2018 in what HMRC called a ‘flagrant breach of employment law’.
Lambeth servicing and repair business Sendon Garage Services Limited was highest on the list, failing to pay £24,869.52 to two workers.
Sturgess & Thompson Limited, an MOT test centre in Leicester, failed to pay £7,385.40 to two workers.
Another MOT test centre in County Durham, Gregg Little Testing Centre Limited, failed to pay £3,703.90 to 4 workers
Malcolm Gilmour and David Gilmour, trading as used car dealership Gilmour Bros in South Lanarkshire, failed to pay £2,446.58 to three workers.
Used car dealer Darran Vaughan, trading as VAS Car Sales in Newry, Mourne and Down, failed to pay £2,351.41 to one worker.
BMW and Mini dealer in Cheltenham, Cotswold Motor Group Limited, were named for failing to pay £796.31 to two workers.
Mistsolar Limited in Bridgend, trading as Bridgend Ford, failed to pay £739.00 to one worker.
Still these companies made up a minor part of the list where supermarket Tesco failed to pay the most employees minimum wage at more than 78,000 missing out on more than £5m.
All companies named have now paid back these missing wages to employees at current minimum wage rates, and faced fines of up to 200 per cent of arrears capped at £10,000 per employee.
HMRC said that one of the main causes of underpayment is making employees cover costs for things such as uniform, training or parking, while in other cases employers failed to give a pay rise after an employee’s birthday should have moved them into another pay bracket.
This is the first time the government has named and shamed companies for failing to pay National Minimum Wage since 2018, following reforms to the process.
Business minister Paul Scully said: ‘Paying the minimum wage is not optional, it is the law.
‘It is never acceptable for any employer to short-change their workers, but it is especially disappointing to see huge household names who absolutely should know better on this list.
‘This should serve as a wake-up call to named employers and a reminder to everyone of the importance of paying workers what they are legally entitled to.
‘Make no mistake, those who fail to follow minimum wage rules will be caught out and made to pay up.’
Bryan Sanderson, chair of the Low Pay Commission, added: ‘There can be no excuses for non-compliance with the minimum wage rates.
‘The annual changes are well publicised six months in advance following a well understood process.
‘Those affected are among the most needy and vulnerable in our country – the companies concerned should be deeply ashamed of their performance.’