Employers being caught out by complexity of National Minimum Wage rules

HMRC has today announced that in the last year its enforcement teams have successfully recovered £15.6m for some 200,000 workers not paid the national minimum wage. These figures compare to recoveries in the previous year of £10.9m for 98,000 workers.

Commenting on the latest figures, Bill Longe, RSM’s head of employer solutions said:

‘These latest results show that workers found to have been paid under the national minimum wage can expect to be refunded an average of £78 each. Bearing in mind some of these breaches will cover several years it would seem most errors identified by HMRC, although welcome and important to the individuals concerned, are fairly minor in nature.

‘Whilst HMRC is to be applauded for its efforts in helping to ensure workers are paid the wages they are legally entitled to receive, it is evident most employers are taking their responsibilities very seriously indeed.

‘Admittedly, there will always be a few bad apples seeking to flout the law but in our experience the vast majority of employers are not making deliberate errors and are being caught out by the complexity of the rules. Looking to the future we would urge HMRC to work with employers in introducing clearer rules and guidance so that the amounts underpaid to employees continues to fall.’