HMRC has just published its latest list of employers who are failing to pay their staff the National Minimum Wage, and a whopping £1.9 million is due to be handed out in compensation for workers who didn’t receive what they were really owed.
It might come as a surprise to learn that household name Argos topped the list of offenders, after the company admitted to requiring staff to attend briefing meetings at the start of their shifts, and wait around for security searches to be completed at the end of the day – both without pay. It meant that around 37,000 staff were underpaid by an average of £64. The retailer was fined £800,000.
HMRC director Melissa Tatton said, ‘HMRC is committed to getting money back into the pockets of underpaid workers and continues to crack down on employers who ignore the law. Those not paying workers the national minimum or living wage can expect to face the consequences’.
Interestingly, across the board with a wide variety of businesses, most issues weren’t as simple as employers just paying an hourly wage that didn’t meet legal requirements. Common errors included deducting money from wages to cover the cost of uniforms, failure to properly account for overtime payments, and classifying workers as apprentices when they didn’t, in actual fact, fulfill that criteria.
The bottom line here? Just because you pay the required hourly rate, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re compliant and have nothing to worry about.
No one would suggest that business owners should get away with paying their staff less than they’re legally entitled to, and you’ll already be well aware that you have a responsibility to comply with the law. Things can sometimes get a little complicated though, and you might be running the risk of huge fines without even realising that you’ve done anything wrong. Receiving a fine from HMRC could do serious damage to your reputation and your employer brand, and it’s easily avoidable when you seek out professional advice and guidance.
If you’re concerned about whether your current processes are compliant, get in touch today. We can help you to pinpoint any potential issues, and get them fixed as quickly as possibly. We can also assess whether you’re getting the maximum return on your staffing investment, and using best practice to reach your profitability goals. Your initial consultation is free from any obligation, and the conversation will be entirely confidential.