UK payroll compliance: minimum wage offences | PaycheckPlus Payroll Compliance

Record number of UK employers named and shamed for underpaying workers

More than 350 employers in the UK have been named and shamed as the UK government publishes the largest ever list of national minimum and living wage offenders.

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  • 359 businesses underpaid 15,513 workers a total of £994,685
  • HMRC issued penalties worth around £800,000
  • Excuses for underpaying workers included using tips to top up pay, docking workers’ wages to pay for their Christmas party and making staff pay for their own uniforms out of their salary

The sectors which feature prominently in this naming and shaming round are:

  • hospitality: 84 employers, £240,516.64 arrears for 563 workers
  • retail: 51 employers, £220,103.78 arrears for 167 workers
  • hairdressing: 39 employers, £65,964.20 arrears for 85 workers
  • social care: 24 employers, £43,636.90 for 145 workers

Business Minister Margot James said:

“Every worker in the UK is entitled to at least the national minimum or living wage and this government will ensure they get it. That is why we have named and shamed more than 350 employers who failed to pay the legal minimum, sending the clear message to employers that minimum wage abuses will not go unpunished.”

Since the naming and shaming scheme was introduced by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in October 2013, more than 1,000 employers have been named, with arrears totalling more than £4.5 million. More than £2 million in fines have been issued to national minimum and living wage offenders.

There are currently more than 1,500 open cases which HMRC is investigating and over the next year the UK government will spend a record £25.3 million on minimum wage enforcement.

Employers in the UK who pay workers less than the minimum wage not only have to pay back 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. In the most serious cases employers can be prosecuted.

Check for compliance

GOV.UK has a useful calculator to check if you are paying/being paid correctly which can be accessed here.

UK workers can check if:

  • they’re getting the correct minimum wage
  • an employer owes them payments from past jobs

UK employers can check if:

  • they’re paying the correct minimum wage
  • they owe a worker payments from past jobs

(Source: GOV.UK)

PaycheckPlus – Payroll Outsource Provider

Employers have a duty to be aware of and comply with the different legal national minimum and living wage rates along with the many other aspects of payroll. Companies can and do incur severe penalties if they are not compliant but being compliant can be difficult for companies and staff that don’t have payroll as a core focus. However, here at PaycheckPlus we specialise in payroll and provide payroll solutions tailored to the specific needs of businesses. We provide managed payroll, auditing, consultancy, payroll workshops and many other services that ensure payroll compliance. We also provide a cover service for payroll staff which gives companies (and payroll staff) peace of mind that their employees will still get paid even if their payroll team becomes ill or goes on leave.

To ensure payroll compliance and for expert support contact PaycheckPlus today.

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For more information on our Outsource Payroll Managed Services request a callback from our payroll specialists today or call our office on 041-9892100.

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