BCA Blackbushe, April 2023_BCA Blackbushe, April 2023_


Constellation-owned BCA named and shamed for paying hundreds of workers below the minimum wage

  • Government publishes new list of companies that have failed to pay minimum wage
  • BCA is 137th on 524-strong list
  • It underpaid 442 workers over more than three years
  • The arrears have since been paid
  • Remarketing giant also hit with financial penalty

Time 11:18 am, February 21, 2024

British Car Auctions is among hundreds of companies named by the government for failing to pay the minimum wage.

Investigations by HM Revenue and Customs focused on the years 2015 to 2023, with a total of 524 businesses making the newly issued list – round 20 – after breaches left more than 172,000 workers out of pocket.

The Constellation-owned outfit, which was 137th, failed to pay £7,469.99 to 442 workers between October 2015 and March 2019, according to the list published jointly by the Department for Business and Trade and parliamentary under secretary of state Kevin Hollinrake.

That averaged out at £16.90 of arrears per worker at the remarketing giant.

The employers have since paid back what they owe to their staff – nearly £16m in total – and have also faced financial penalties of up to 200% of their underpayment.

Car Dealer has approached Constellation for a comment.

The department acknowledged that not all minimum wage underpayments were intentional, but it said the government had been clear that anyone entitled to be paid the minimum wage should receive it, and that employers who don’t pay their staff correctly will face enforcement action.

Hollinrake, minister for enterprise, markets and small business, said: ‘Employees deserve to get paid properly for the hard work they put in.

‘While the majority of businesses already do the right thing and pay their staff what they are owed, today’s announcement sends a message to the minority who aren’t – that there are repercussions to undercutting hard work from their staff.’

Patricia Rice, independent commissioner at the Low Pay Commission, said: ‘Since its introduction nearly 25 years ago, the national minimum wage has played a vital role in protecting the earnings of the lowest-paid workers in the UK.

‘At a time when the cost of living is rising, it is more important than ever that these workers receive the pay to which they are entitled.

‘National minimum wage underpayment not only cheats workers of their rightful due, it leaves compliant firms undercut by those who do not abide by the law.

‘By naming the firms responsible for significant underpayment, we raise awareness of the nature and the scale of underpayment and encourage all employers to ensure that they fully comply with the law.’

The national living wage will increase from April 1 from £10.42 per hour to £11.44 per hour for 21-year-olds and over (previously 23 and over), from £7.49 to £8.60 for 18-to-20-year-olds, and from £5.28 to £6.40 for under-18s and apprentices.

The worst offender on the list was Staffline Recruitment, which underpaid 36,767 workers more than £5m – a total of £5,125,270.93 – between February 2014 and December 2018, averaging £139.40 per worker.

Main image via Google Street View shows the BCA Blackbushe site and is used for illustrative purposes only

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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