A report by HM Revenue & Customs highlighted 179 employers which have been fined £1.3 million (M) for underpaying workers by £1.1M. It stated that Moy Park had failed to pay £33,547.57 to 338 of its workers.
In response to the report, a Moy Park spokesperson said: “As soon as this isolated example of underpayment was identified we apologised to those affected and ensured reimbursement. As a responsible employer we have taken steps to ensure this issue cannot reoccur.”
Other food manufacturing companies highlighted on the list included SSL Foodservice, Tayto Group, Patisserie Patchi and Europa Foods Distribution.
Since 2013 the scheme has identified more than £9M in back pay for around 67,000 workers, with more than 1,700 employers fined a total of £6.3M.
Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage not only have to pay back arrears of wages to the worker at current minimum wage rates but also face financial penalties of up to 200% of arrears, capped at £20,000 per worker.
The name and shame list comes ahead of the next rise on 1 April, when the National Living Wage will go up from £7.50 to £7.83 per hour.
Later this month the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will launch a campaign to raise awareness of the new rates and encourage workers to speak to their employer if they think they are being underpaid.
Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said: “There are no excuses for short-changing workers. This is an absolute red line for this Government and employers who cross it will get caught - not only are they forced to pay back every penny but they are also fined up to 200% of wages owed.
“Today’s naming round serves as a sharp reminder to employers to get their house in order ahead of minimum wage rate rises on 1 April.”
Bryan Sanderson, chairman of the Low Pay Commission (LPC), said: “As the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates rise on 1 April, it is vital that workers understand their rights, and employers their obligations.
“The recent announcement that all workers will have a right to payslips stating the hours they have worked – an idea originally proposed by the LPC – is a positive step.”
Moy Park Limited, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon BT63, failed to pay £33,547.57 to 338 workers.
SSL Foodservice Ltd, trading as SSL Dairies, Luton LU3, failed to pay £3,576.88 to eight workers.
Tayto Group Limited, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon BT62, failed to pay £2,236.14 to 50 workers.
Patisserie Patchi Limited, trading as Patchi, Brent NW10, failed to pay £2,007.92 to seven workers.
Europa Foods Distribution Limited, Causeway Coast and Glens BT51, failed to pay £976.55 to two workers.