Avoid being ‘named and shamed’ for underpaying National Minimum and Living Wages

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uk government names and shames 359 employers for underpaying national living wage and minimum - how to avoid being next

We now know that the government is taking a no-holds-barred approach to those employers who fail to follow national minimum wage and national living wage regulations.

A press release from the government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has gone so far as to name and shame more than 350 employers.

All 359 cases named had failed to pay the correct national minimum or living wage rates and owed arrears of at least £100.

Eight Employers in the Region (IP, CB & NR postcodes)

Of the 359 listed, a brief analysis tells us that there are two “IP” postcode employers, two “CB” and four in “NR” – this time.

While employers in our region are far from being the worst offenders named, it must be particularly galling to be included on a list such as this with many far-worse offenders…

Penalties

Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage not only have to pay arrears of wages to the worker at current minimum wage rates, but also face financial penalties of up to 200% of arrears, capped at £20,000 per worker.

The government will name all employers that have been issued with a Notice of Underpayment (NoU) unless employers meet one of the exceptional criteria or have arrears of £100 or less.

Don’t be next!

It seems that these employers have been caught out by complaints raised with Acas, who referred them to HMRC.

Over the next year the government will spend ‘a record’ £25.3 million on minimum wage enforcement.

So, you can be sure that there will be more to come.

Help for Employers

We recommend all employers take the incentive, now, and double-check that they are paying the right rate to all employees. A breach in connection with just one employer leaves you open to being included in a future ‘named and shamed’ list and HMRC penalties of up to 200% of arrears.

Your payroll software may have a built-in checker.

If not, use the National Minimum Wage and Living Wage calculator for employers.

Further help and information is also available from Acas.

Help for Employees

If you’re an employee and not sure that you’re getting what you’re entitled to, check your pay on the government’s site for employees.

What are the rates?

The current minimum wage rates depend on age (and whether you’re an apprentice) and are:

  • National Living Wage (25 years and over) – £7.20 per hour
  • adult rate of National Minimum Wage (21 to 24-year-olds) – £6.95 per hour
  • 18 to 20-year olds – £5.55 per hour
  • 16 to 17-year-olds – £4.00 per hour
  • apprentice rate – £3.40 per hour

From 1 April 2017 rates are set to increase to:

  • National Living Wage (25 years and over) – £7.50 per hour
  • adult rate of National Minimum Wage (21 to 24-year-olds) – £7.05 per hour
  • 18 to 20-year-olds – £5.60 per hours
  • 16 to 17-year-olds £4.05 per hour
  • apprentice rate £3.50 per hour

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This article contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.