UK employers owe workers £1.44 million due to minimum wage violations UK employers owe workers £1.44 million due to minimum wage violations

UK employers owe workers £1.44 million due to minimum wage violations
09 Jul 2018

The UK government has named 239 employers who have underpaid the National Living Wage and Minimum Wage.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) identified that £1.44 million (US$1.9 million) in back pay was owed to 22,400 workers, and has also fined the employers concerned an extra £1.97 million (US$2.6 million) on top. The earliest underpayment dated back to 2011, with the most recent happening this year.

The most common means by which workers were underpaid was in taking deductions from their wages for uniforms, underpaying apprentices and failing to pay travel time. Other issues included misusing the accommodation offset and applying the wrong time periods for calculating pay.

Low Pay Commission chairman Bryan Sanderson said: "It is crucial that employers understand their responsibilities and workers know their rights around the minimum wage. That is why active enforcement and effective communication from government is so important."

As such, he added, it was “encouraging” to see that HMRC had recovered unpaid wages for the largest number of workers yet in this latest round of naming and shaming. “I’m confident that the government will continue to pursue underpayment of the minimum wage vigorously," Sanderson said. 

Funding for minimum wage enforcement has more than doubled since 2015, with the government set to spend £26.3 million (US$34.8 million) in 2018/19.

The scheme is in its fifth year and has so far identified £10.8 million (US$14.3 million) in back pay for around 90,000 workers, with more than 1,900 employers fined a total of £8.4 million (US$11.1 million). HMRC has also launched a series of webinars, available on GOV.UK, to help employers check that they are complying with the law.

The government is currently running a campaign to raise awareness of National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates, which increased on 1 April 2018. It is also encouraging workers who have been underpaid to complain to HMRC.

Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage are required to pay them back wage arrears at current minimum rates and face financial penalties of up to 200% in arrears, which is capped at £20,000 (US$26,445) per worker.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

 

 

The UK government has named 239 employers who have underpaid the National Living Wage and Minimum Wage.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) identified that £1.44 million (US$1.9 million) in back pay was owed to 22,400 workers, and has also fined the employers concerned an extra £1.97 million (US$2.6 million) on top. The earliest underpayment dated back to 2011, with the most recent happening this year.

The most common means by which workers were underpaid was in taking deductions from their wages for uniforms, underpaying apprentices and failing to pay travel time. Other issues included misusing the accommodation offset and applying the wrong time periods for calculating pay.

Low Pay Commission chairman Bryan Sanderson said: "It is crucial that employers understand their responsibilities and workers know their rights around the minimum wage. That is why active enforcement and effective communication from government is so important."

As such, he added, it was “encouraging” to see that HMRC had recovered unpaid wages for the largest number of workers yet in this latest round of naming and shaming. “I’m confident that the government will continue to pursue underpayment of the minimum wage vigorously," Sanderson said. 

Funding for minimum wage enforcement has more than doubled since 2015, with the government set to spend £26.3 million (US$34.8 million) in 2018/19.

The scheme is in its fifth year and has so far identified £10.8 million (US$14.3 million) in back pay for around 90,000 workers, with more than 1,900 employers fined a total of £8.4 million (US$11.1 million). HMRC has also launched a series of webinars, available on GOV.UK, to help employers check that they are complying with the law.

The government is currently running a campaign to raise awareness of National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates, which increased on 1 April 2018. It is also encouraging workers who have been underpaid to complain to HMRC.

Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage are required to pay them back wage arrears at current minimum rates and face financial penalties of up to 200% in arrears, which is capped at £20,000 (US$26,445) per worker.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

 

 

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