A law firm based in Hampshire has been named as one of dozens of businesses failing to pay the minimum wage. According to a list published by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Richard Webster & Co Limited, based in Eastleigh, failed to pay £621.23 to a worker and was served a notice of underpayment between September 2016 and July 2018, following investigations by HM Revenue & Customs.

The department acknowledged that not all breaches of minimum wage rules were intentional, but said it is the responsibility of all employers to ensure they are following the law.

The Gazette has approached the firm for comment. It is not clear from the government publication what the nature of the breach was.

According to its website, Richard Webster & Co Limited is a multi-disciplinary practice which traces its roots back to the 1980s and now has offices in London, Wiltshire and Hampshire. The firm states on the site that its ‘ethical approach to work is second to none’.

This is the first time the government has named companies for failing to pay national minimum wage since 2018, and the publication of the list is intended to be a warning that action will be taken for breaches of legal obligations.

Business minister Paul Scally said: ‘Paying the minimum wage is not optional, it is the law. 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.’

In total, 139 companies were named in the list, failing to pay £6.7m to more than 95,000 workers in total.