A family firm based in Leyland has been ‘named and shamed’ by the government for failing to pay its employees the minimum wage.
Painters and decorators J B Howard and Son Ltd, which has been operating in the town since 1978, neglected to pay £3,469.96 to seven workers.
Business owner Baz Howard said: “We’ve had different admin staff who haven’t been doing a particularly good job.
“I know ignorance is no defence but we’ve worked with the Department for Work and Pensions and we’ve paid back what we owe.
“We’ve co-operated fully and we apologise.”
The Leyland firm was one of 70 UK employers outed by Business Minister Jo Swinson, after they were fined a total of £70,000 for owing workers more than £157,000.
The biggest case in the new Government announcement was a care company, East Midlands Crossroads, which owed £37,500 to 184 workers.
Ms Swinson said: “Paying less than the minimum wage is illegal, immoral and completely unacceptable.
“Naming and shaming gives a warning to employers who ignore the rules, that they will face reputational consequences as well as financial penalties of up to £20,000 if they don’t pay minimum wage.”
Trades Union Congress general secretary Frances O’Grady added: “We welcome today’s list and encourage the Government to make public the hundreds of other minimum wage cheats they know about as soon as possible.
“If we want to stamp out this behaviour then all employers who under-pay their staff must be publicly named and shamed.”