National Minimum Wage Naming & Shaming – August 2021

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Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis

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25 Aug 2021

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A number of household names are among 191 employers to be named and shamed by the Government for failing to pay the National Minimum Wage (NMW). Those being publicly reprimanded in this round are hospitality sector businesses including John Lewis, The Body Shop and Pret a Manger.

Approximately 34,000 workers will also receive a total of £2.1m after their employers broke national minimum wage laws.

NMW naming & shaming

The latest round

The fact that 100+ businesses were named and shamed after multiple rounds of naming and shaming indicates that the issue is persisting. In some cases, this will be a genuine mistake on the part of the employer, but in other cases, organisations could be ignoring their responsibilities.

After a year and a half of restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employees should be safe in the knowledge that they are being paid fairly. If you needed any more motivation to ensure this is the case, you could be fined and face criminal sanctions.

Don’t take it for granted that you are paying your staff correctly. Conduct regular reviews or risk facing fines of up to £20,000 per employee.

Remember to look at remuneration as a whole and not just the hourly rate you pay staff. Many of the high-profile cases show that it’s not about paying the minimum hourly rate. Instead, businesses are struggling to increase salaries enough to account for additional deductions, which they must provide to employees.

Apprenticeships

Also, apprentices seemed to be affected significantly this time around—19% of employers had minimum wage breaches in connection with apprenticeships. Here’s what you should be on the look out for in your business:

  • Continuing to pay the apprentice rate to apprentices who are aged 19 years or over after they have completed the first year of their apprenticeship.
  • Continuing to pay the apprentice rate to a worker who is not an apprentice.
  • Continuing to pay the apprentice rate after the apprenticeship ends.
  • Failing to pay an apprentice for the time they have spent in training during normal working hours, both on- or off-the-job, as part of their apprenticeship.

If you employees apprentices, now would be a good time to review their pay and look out for the four points noted above.

Expert support

As an employer it is vital that you keep up-to-date with these minimum wage changes. Croner can help ensure that your employees are being paid the correct amounts, saving your business from potentially expensive action should a pay issue be raised by one of your workers.

If you think you're at risk or have any questions in relation to the National Minimum Wage, please contact our employment law experts today on 01455 858 132.

About the Author

Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis is the senior manager of the Litigation and Employment Department and assumes additional responsibility for managing Croner’s office based telephone HR advisory teams, who specialise in employment law, HR and commercial legal advice for small & large organisations across the United Kingdom.

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