Excuses For Not Paying At Least Minimum Wage

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December 4th 2021
Tax Week 35
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Excuses For Not Paying At Least Minimum Wage

HMRC publishes list of unbelievable reasons employers have used to illegally underpay staff.

The national minimum wage is the lowest an employer can legally pay an employee. The rates varies based on age or type of employment and are currently (2021/2022) the following:

  • £8.91 - Aged 23 or over (NLW)
  • £8.36 - Aged 21 to 22
  • £6.56 - Aged 18 to 20
  • £4.62 - Under 18 years old
  • £4.30 - Apprentices

The NLW (National Living Wage) is for people aged 23 and over, it was previously for people aged 25 and over.

Last tax year, HMRC recovered over £16 million for 155,000 employees who had been illegally paid below minimum wage levels. An average of £103 per employee. £14 million was also collected in penalties on employers.

HMRC today published a list of the top 10 most outrageous excuses for not paying people at least the minimum wage.

  1. She did not deserve the minimum wage as she only makes tea and sweeps floors.
  2. Employee was not good enough to deserve the minimum wage.
  3. The accountant speaks a different language to the employer resulting in a communication error.
  4. UK 'culture' is to not pay workers for three months as they prove their worth.
  5. One employer stated the minimum wage does not apply to their business.
  6. Employer states employees have signed a contract agreeing to be paid below minimum wage.
  7. British employees do not have to be paid minimum wage.
  8. Employer said his 'employees' think of themselves as 'self-employed' thus minimum wage does not apply.
  9. Employees are just on standby when no customers are in the shop so only get paid when serving a customer.

If you are being paid below minimum wage or know somebody who is, pleaes call the ACAS Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0300 123 1100.

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