An HMRC investigation has discovered that for 2017/18 £15.6 million back pay is owed to over 200,000 UK workers, this was an increase from £10.9 million to 98,000 workers for 2016/17.
Employers who don’t pay their staff the legal requirements are subjected to penalties. If an employer realises that they have underpaid their worker they must pay any arrears immediately, if they fail to do so there can penalties of up to 200% of the amount owed. Non payment can get a fine of up to £20,000 per employee and the employer can get up to 15 year ban from being a company director.
As of 1 April 2018 the National Minimum Wage hourly rate for persons 21 -24 years old is £7.38, 18 – 20 years old is £5.90 and 16 – 17 years old is £4.20. The National Living Wage hourly rate for persons 25 & over is £7.83 and the apprentice rate is £3.70.
Employees can make complaints to HMRC online and all complaints are investigated.
It is important to remember that certain payments made by workers must not be included when the minimum wage is calculated such as items bought for work which aren’t refunded.