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Report Reveals Extent of National Minimum Wage Non-Compliance

A recent report from the National Audit Office has revealed that since April 1999, when the Government began enforcing the National Minimum Wage (NMW), HM Revenue & Customs has identified £68 million in arrears for over 313,000 workers.
 
The number of workers identified as being owed arrears in 2015-16 was 58,000 compared to 26,000 in 2014-15.
 
The time taken to investigate complaints varies considerably and depends on a number of factors such as the complexity of cases and the co-operation of the employer.
 
According to the report, non-compliance with the NMW in the social care sector is one area of particular concern. The Low Pay Commission continues to assess this sector as high risk and has previously reported that up to 10.6% of care workers may not be paid the NMW. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) re-classified the social care sector as a high priority sector for 2015-16.
 
Both BIS and HMRC have strengthened the sanctions that they are able to apply to non-compliant employers.
 
Since October 2014, BIS has regularly named and shamed non-compliant employers. Between October 2013 and February 2016, it has published the details of 490 employers who failed to pay their workers the NMW. Between 2009-10 and 2015-16, HMRC has imposed penalties of nearly £5.6 million on non-compliant employers, and has prosecuted nine employers who fit the criteria set by BIS.

 

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