Increases to National Minimum and Living Wage April 2017

Are you aware that with effect from 1 April 2017 you are required to pay all your workers, whether full or part-time, aged 25 and over £7.50 per hour?  Failure to pay the National Living and National Minimum Wage or attempts to falsify payment records is a criminal offence.   The full range of pay rates for all ages are:

National minimum and living wage

If you receive tips at work they cannot legally count towards National Minimum or Living wage.  You could be underpaying your staff.

Some additional facts about paying the National Minimum and Living Wage

Do you deduct the cost of workwear and tools from wages?   Deductions for items connected with the job such as uniforms or tools, must not take wages below the National Minimum or Living Wage.

If your workers travel between different assignments and you don’t pay for that time, you may be underpaying wages.

Do your workers do a little unpaid extra time on a regular basis such as having to wait at their workplace before they can go home after their shift?  If they do then you may be underpaying wages.  Or if you do not pay for time spent training or for a trial period you may be underpaying wages.  This unpaid time might mean that you are not paying the National Minimum or Living Wage.

A workers’ age affects the rate at which they should be paid.  Are you aware of workers’ birthdays and do you have a system in place to ensure that any increased entitlement to National Minimum or Living wage is paid on time?

Are you aware of the penalties for failing to pay the National Minimum or Living Wage?  If HMRC decide to investigate and discover that you have been underpaying workers, you will be issued with a Notice of Underpayment which will detail the arrears that are due to workers together with the penalty (fine) being imposed on the employer.   Currently the maximum fine is £20,000 per worker.  You may also be publicly ‘named and shamed’. 

Square Peg Development are a specialist Employment Law and HR consultancy.  We can help you through the maze of minimum wage employment legislation ensuring that you are meeting your legal obligations without paying over the odds. 

Contact Employment Lawyer Frances McAulay for more information