National Minimum Wage
The National Minimum Wage was first introduced by the Labour government in 1999. It may seem hard to believe, but prior to this point almost two decades ago there was no minimum wage in place at all. Today, the minimum wage, or the National Living Wage, as it is now known is one of the highest in Europe. The minimum wage is reviewed each year and is increased every October. Currently, those aged 25 or over receive the National Living Wage of at least £7.50 an hour. Those aged between 21 years old and 24 years old receive £7.05. If you’re 19 years old you will receive at least the minimum for 18-20 year old, which is £5.60 an hour. Under 18s receive at least £4.05, which means a 16 year-old will get this unless they are an apprentice, in which case they will get £3.50 an hour.
Are you an employer?
The independent Low Pay Commission provide advice to the Government to help them calculate the Minimum and Living Wages. Employers that fail to pay the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage can face tough penalties. One problem for some employers is that calculating wages can be difficult, for example companies employing care staff who don’t pay for travelling time between appointments or those paying staff that spend time asleep whilst they work. Many companies which have received central or local government funding until recently have faced difficulties with paying the National Minimum and Living Wage. A number of big-name companies failing to pay the NMW or NLW have been named by the government, and many of their employees have been compensated for their lost earnings. Penalties for companies that fail to comply with the Minimum and Living Wage may be issued with a Notice of Underpayment and companies can face criminal sanctions that threaten their reputations.
Employees and the Minimum and Living Wage
Are you an employee that has been denied the minimum wage? It’s suspected that hundreds of thousands of employees have missed out on the NMW and NLW despite being entitled to it. The Office of National Statistics claimed that over 350,000 jobs were not paying the minimum in April 2016. Companies in the retail, hospitality and hairdressing sectors were amongst the most prolific offenders. Many reasons for not paying the minimum have been cited, such as reductions for uniforms, funding staff parties and tips being used to top up pay. The TUC have called for bigger fines for companies failing to pay the NMW and NLW.
How we can help
At Davies and Partners, we can assist you if you’re a company concerned about fines for not paying the NLW or NMW. We can help you avoid penalties and become compliant with the law, enabling you to implement wage rates to protect your company’s prosperity. We can also help you take action if you’re an employee who hasn’t been paid the National Minimum or Living Wage that you are entitled to. To find out more, call us or fill in the contact form on our website.