HMRC ‘name and shame’: minimum wage - Kuits Solicitors Manchester

HMRC ‘name and shame’: minimum wage

HMRC ‘name and shame’: minimum wage

13th August 2021 - Published by Kuits Employment team

On 5 August 2021, HMRC published a list of 191 companies who had paid their workers less than the national minimum wage. Investigations showed that employers generally had failed to pay £2.1million to over 34,000 workers between 2011 – 2018.

Some of the companies named by HMRC were John Lewis, the Body Shop, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Pret a Manger, and several football clubs.

HMRC has the power to publicly name and shame companies whilst also ordering repayment of all underpayments and issuing additional fines.

Under the Government’s new naming and shaming scheme, employers in breach now only have 28 days to appeal or pay before they are added to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s list.

Of the companies on the list, most offences involved technical breaches of the minimum wage, rather than obvious underpayments below the legal rate. Of the employers listed on 5 August:

  • 47% wrongly deducted pay from workers’ wages, including for uniform and expenses;
  • 30% failed to pay workers for all the time they had worked, such as when they worked overtime or when they were present but not working; and
  • 19% paid the incorrect apprenticeship rate.

It is crucial that employers are aware of the law surrounding the national minimum wage, specifically the implications of mandating a clothing policy, and the interpretation of working time so as not become liable for under-paying workers. The Government has made it clear that unintentional non-compliance is not an excuse.

The Kuits Employment team has extensive experience of challenging HMRC and, to our knowledge, we are the only Firm that has not only successfully appealed against a Notice of Underpayment, but also recovered our client’s costs from HMRC.

Get in touch with an Employment Solicitor in Manchester

If you would like to talk to a member of the Kuits Employment team about how you can prevent liability or deal with penalisation in the event of a breach, then please call Solicitor James Howarth on  0161 838 8131 or email jameshowarth@kuits.com

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