Employers need to keep a keen eye on the ever changing minimum wage. For small companies, increases in the minimum wage can put quite a strain on the business but failure to meet minimum requirements can lead to being ordered to pay the arrears by HMRC and then a trip to court and fine if the employer still refuses to pay and it’s found the minimum wage has not been met.
Larger companies are not exempt from these powers and a large, UK sports retailer was hit for six recently when it was adjudged that they owe back pay of around £1m for paying less than the minimum wage. Their billionaire owner was forced to face MP’s on the business select committee in June and admitted that workers were being paid below the minimum wage. The oversight came about due to staff being searched after they had finished their shifts, staying for longer periods than they were being paid for and therefore not meeting the statutory minimum wage.
There were also concerns raised over the company’s policy to dock workers 15 mins pay for arriving as little as one min late for their shift. This was deemed as ‘unfair’. The back pay payments could be worth up to £1,000 for some employees and date back as far as May 2012 and will be delivered in full to both staff directly employed by the company and workers that were provided by an agency.
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It is the employer’s responsibility to keep records proving that they are paying the minimum wage and they can use their payroll records as proof. Records must be kept for 3 years and you are able to check what you should be paying employees by visiting here