HMRC has recently published a list of employers who are failing to pay staff the National Minimum Wage, and a staggering £1.9 million is due to be handed out in compensation.
Perhaps surprisingly, Argos was ‘named and shamed’ as the worst offender after admitting that staff were required to attend briefing meetings and attend security searches outside of working hours; both without pay. This resulted in around 37,000 staff being 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’.
Argos were not alone; over 350 Companies failed to pay staff what they are legally entitled. Interestingly, with a wide variety of businesses, most issues weren’t as simple as employers just failing to pay an hourly wage that met legal requirements. Common errors included deducting money from wages for uniforms, failing to calculate overtime payments correctly, and classifying workers as apprentices when in fact they did not fulfill that criteria.
The bottom line is, just because you pay the required hourly rate, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re compliant.
The majority of business owners are well aware of the legal obligations towards staff, however, things aren’t always as straight forward as they seem. Payments to staff can often become complicated and you could run the risk of triggering fines without realising that you’ve done anything wrong. Receiving a fine from HMRC could do serious damage to your reputation, your employer brand, and your profit margin.
If you’re concerned about whether your current processes are compliant, we can help you to identify any potential issues, and get them resolved as quickly as possibly.
If you would like to chat about how we can help you to avoid getting on the wrong side of HMRC please get in touch by completing the Contact Form or calling us on 01604 763494 to arrange your no-obligation discussion.