HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has recently named 70 offenders who have failed to pay the National Minimum Wage (NMW).
Currently, the NMW adult rate (21 and over) is £6.50 per hour with an annual October update. There are three other rates, an apprentice rate, a 16-17 year old rate and an 18-20 year old rate.
There are a number of common problems, the main one relates to apprentices. The apprentice rate (the lowest at currently £2.73 per hour) applies to 16-18 years and those who are 19 years and over who are in their first year. All other apprentices are entitled to the NMW based on their age.
An easy error is failing to notice an employee who moves from the 17 year old rate to the 18 year old rate.
There has been a rise in these enquiries as HMRC check through business records to check the accuracy. A number of these enquiries started following complaints by current or ex-employees.
If you would like assistance with regard to this matter or your payroll function generally, please do call Maureen Owens or Helen Miller in our Payroll department.