Imago ‘failed to pay minimum wage’ investigation finds

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Imago, a Loughborough University subsidiary company that delivers “conferences and events” at Loughborough, has been found to have failed to pay their staff minimum wage, along with 139 other companies, the Government has announced.

The investigation took place between 2016 and 2018 in which these 139 companies failed to pay £6.7 million to over 95,000 workers in total, in what the government is calling a “flagrant breach of employment law”.

Imago was found to have failed to pay £6,319.05 to 101 workers during this period, and have been fined as a result.

Paul Scully, the Business Minister 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 these employers and should act as 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.”

Imago has been made by the government to pay back their workers and were forced to pay financial penalties. The companies the government has named were served a “notice of underpayment” between September 2016 and July 2018, following investigations by HMRC.

One of the main causes of minimum wage breaches was “low-paid employees being made to cover work costs, which would eat into their pay packet, such as paying for uniform, training or parking fees.” according to HMRC.

As well as this, some employers failed to raise employees’ pay after they had “a birthday which should have moved them into a different National Minimum Wage bracket.”

A spokesperson for Imago Ltd said: “A technical error was made in calculating payments. Affected staff had been paid based on a 52-week year and not the 52.18-week year now advised.

“As soon as the error was identified, in 2017, all those affected were reimbursed.”

The Chair of the Low Pay Commission, Bryan Sanderson, said that there are “no excuses” for non-compliance with the minimum wage rates.

“The annual changes are well publicised 6 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.”

The full government report can be found here.

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