The summer’s been and gone, the nights are drawing in and the kids are back at school.
However, when it comes to paying your staff, it’s that time of year again when the national minimum wage (NMW) rates increase, so make sure your business is up to date and compliant.
From 1 October 2015, workers aged 21 and over are entitled to be paid £6.70 per hour (up from £6.50), whilst those aged 18 to 20 should receive £5.30 per hour (up from £5.13). The other new rates to be aware of are set out in our previous blog here.
It’s important to note that the maximum penalty for not complying with the NMW has increased to up to £20,000 per employee, which could prove to be very costly if you have a group of employees who are underpaid.
In addition to these changes, the government recently announced a number of measures intended to improve employers’ compliance with the NMW moving forwards. Although a date is to be set when these measures will come into force, they include;
- Doubling the penalties for non-payment of the NMW, which means they will increase from 100% of arrears to 200% of arrears, but the penalty will be halved if employers pay within 14 days;
- Forming a new HMRC team dedicated to pursuing the most serious cases of employers deliberately not paying the NMW. This will include potential criminal prosecution of and “naming and shaming” the worst offending employers; and
- Company directors facing possible disqualification of up to 15 years for non-payment of the NMW.
It’s clear that the government is seeking to take a hard line on those who fail to pay the NMW, so be warned and make sure you’re paying what’s due!
If you have any questions on how these changes could impact on your business, or need advice on any other employment query, feel free to contact Mike Patterson of Berwins’ Employment Team on 01423 542778 to discuss competitive fixed fee packages appropriate for your business.