The Government is committed to enforcement of the minimum wage. We have increased HMRC’s annual minimum wage enforcement budget to £26.3 million, up from £13.2 million in 2015/16. In 2017/18, HMRC took action against more than 1,000 businesses, identifying £15.6 million of pay arrears for workers and levying financial penalties of £14 million.
Since the beginning of 2010 there have been a total of seven prosecutions for breaches of National Minimum Wage law. These are itemised by year in Annex C of the following published document: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/742668/nmw-nlw-enforcement-compliance-report-2018.pdf
HMRC refer cases to the Crown Prosecution Service, who ultimately decide whether to prosecute. HMRC’s priority is to ensure that workers receive the money they are owed. Criminal sanctions against companies can mean that workers end up waiting longer for their lost earnings to be paid back.