New penalties for failure to pay minimum wage
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6th May 2009
The Employment Act 2008 has introduced new
penalties for the failure of
employers to pay their employees the national minimum wage.
The national minimum wage is now set at
5.73 GBP for workers over 22,
4.77 GBP for workers under 22 and a special rate of 3.53 GBP for
workers aged between 16 and 17.
The national minimum wage is also set to
increase in October 2009.
From 6th April 2009, employers now face
financial penalties if HMRC
discover they have failed to pay their staff the national minimum wage.
Employees will be entitled to claim what they should have received from
their employers in arrears. HMRC compliance officers have also been
given new powers of inspection and will notify the Secretary of State
of any non compliance. Employers may also face criminal penalties for
national minimum wage offences. The penalty is set at 50 per cent of
the total underpayment but there is a minimum penalty of 100 GBP and a
maximum penalty of 5,000 GPB. Employers who comply fully with the
notice of underpayment within 14 days of service will receive a
discount of 50 per cent on the penalty.
Employers should therefore take into
account the newly found powers of
HMRC and must ensure that the wages they pay to their employees comply
with the national minimum wage.
Corinne Day is a trainee
solicitor who specialises in information
technology law and intellectual property law. She can be contacted via
e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-05-19 15:50:16 in Legal Articles