HMRC publishes the worst excuses for not paying the minimum wage
HMRC has given some examples of excuses given to it by employers when challenged on payments below the national minimum wage (NMW).
Some examples include:
- One employer said a woman was not entitled to NMW as she was his wife, but did not know her name.
- One employer said his employees did not know anything about the NMW because they did not speak English.
- An employer said he increased the amount he paid, even if the total was still below MNW as he did not think it right to ignore the rises in NMW.
- A number of people stated that accommodation provided to workers made up for their shortfall in wages - it doesn’t.
- One employer told HMRC that he knew he was paying too little, but the employees were happy because they were getting experience.
- One employeeclaimed to be just working for a few days with a view to buying the business but when HMRC checked the records, his name was found on historic records.
- An employer claimed he realised he was not paying employees the NMW and had just this week increased their wages but to an hourly rate which was still too low.
- One employee ran out of the premises when HMRC officers arrived and then returned – minus the work outfit – pretending to be a customer.
HMRC has a nationwide network of NMW enforcement teams that investigates complaints and educates employers and employees about what happens if they fail to pay the National Minimum Wage.
Date: 14th April, 2014
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