Three central Lancashire employers were among dozens of businesses named and shamed by the Government for failing to pay the national minimum wage.
Details of 70 UK employers were published by Business Minister Jo Swinson after they were fined a total of £70,000 for owing workers more than £157,000.
There is absolutely no excuse for employers that fail to pay the minimum wage.
More than 160 employers have now been publicly named by the Government since a new regime came into force in 2013.
The Lancashire employers named by the Government were:
J B Howard and Son Ltd, Leyland, who neglected to pay £3,469.96 to seven workers
Gregson Lane Garage Ltd, Hoghton, neglected to pay £1,431.57 to two workers
Honeybees Childcare Ltd, Preston, neglected to pay £276.30 to a worker
Ms Swinson said: “Paying less than the minimum wage is illegal, immoral and completely unacceptable.
“Naming and shaming gives a clear 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 the minimum wage.”
The biggest case in the new Government announcement was a care company, East Midlands Crossroads, which owed £37,500 to 184 workers.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “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.”
Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said: “We want a fairer society where everyone gets the care they deserve – to do this we need a skilled, valued and fairly paid workforce.
“There is absolutely no excuse for employers that fail to pay the minimum wage.”
Baz Howard, from Leyland-based painting and decorating firm J B Howard and Son Ltd, which has been operating since 1978, 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 cooperated fully and we apologise.”
Gregson Lane Garage declined to comment. No-one could be reached at Honeybees Childcare Ltd.
The minimum wages rate are as follows: adult rate (21 and over) £6.50 per hour; 18 to 20 year olds £5.13 per hour; 16 to 17 year olds £3.79 per hour; and the apprentice rate of £2.73 per hour.