Employers who are flouting the law and not paying their workers at least the National Minimum Wage for their age have been warned that they face hefty fines.
Steve Timewell, HMRC’s Individuals and Small Business Compliance, director, spelled out its approach to those flouting the rules.
He said: “We always apply the law and take action. Workers cannot be asked or told to sign-away their rights.
“We are making sure that workers are being paid what they are entitled to and, as the economy reopens, reminding employers of the rules and the help that is available to them.”
In the 2020 to 2021 tax year, HMRC says it helped more than 155,000 workers across the UK recover more than £16 million in pay which was due to them, and it also issued more than £14m in penalties.
Steve Timewell says that there is help and advice available for businesses that are unsure of the rules.
However, he added: “Any employer deliberately or unapologetically underpaying their staff will face hefty fines and other enforcement action.”
The National Minimum Wage hourly rates are currently:
• £8.91 – Age 23 or over (National Living Wage)
• £8.36 – Age 21 to 22
• £6.56 – Age 18 to 20
• £4.62 – Age under 18
• £4.30 – Apprentice