Nearly 700 firms have been fined almost £1.4 million for not paying minimum wage – including several Bucks businesses.

The fines come after a large number of offenders were named and shamed in a list published on August 11.

The £1.4m is to be paid on top of the £3.5 million in wages already owed to the employees.

One of the businesses, Prestwood Motors Ltd, based in Great Missenden, owed £2,375 to one worker.

Another company, Rucola LTD, of Amersham, failed to pay £130.29 to two workers.

Salim Uddin Khan, trading as Top Tread Tyres in High Wycombe, owed £402.25 to one employee.

Minimum wage is mandatory and is £6.95 per hour for 21 to 24-year-olds and £7.20 for over-25-year-olds.

Employment law director of Peninsula Alan Price said employers needed to stay informed.

He said: “Minimum wages are not a new concept – they have been around since 1999.

“However, the details change every year when the rates are updated.

“Unfortunately, unintentional breaches of the law are dealt with in the same way as intentional ones.

“Innocent ignorance is not a defence.”

On average, each firm on the list has been given a fine of just over £2,000.

However, some of the bigger offenders have had to pay about £20,000 each.

Mr Price gave some advice to businesses regarding paying minimum wage.

He said: “With rates increasing based on age, employers should make sure they are aware of the age of their employees at the start, and throughout, employment.

“Whilst age should not play any part in a recruitment decision, knowing how old someone is means that the employers can pay the correct minimum wage.”