It was indeed a good Friday if you were one of the employees sharing in the £1.3m fine issued by the government. This was the cumulative amount 179 employers have been instructed to pay in respect of breaching the minimum wage.
Many had adhered to the bandings but fell foul over illegal deductions for things such as uniforms. For example, Wagamama required staff to wear black trousers or skirts with their branded t-shirts. As they had to provide their own black trousers or skirts, staff paid the minimum wage were effectively forced to spend part of that wage on work uniform, which is an unlawful deduction from minimum wage. It was a similar case with TGI Fridays and footwear.
It is alarming that many of the employers on the shame list are big name brands with HR and legal teams who really have no excuse for being unaware errors which have been described as ‘inadvertent’.
We have been advising clients on the governments plans to introduce statutory payslips for workers and to involve HMRC in the enforcement of holiday pay. We have also recently seen that since tribunal fees were abolished a significant number of the increased claims have concerned pay and there is even a taskforce to support the care industry with back paying the national minimum wage for sleep-in shifts.
Minimum wage is clearly a hot topic on the government’s radar, and crackdowns are becoming more prevalent.
If you would like advice on checking your practices we have experts who can help review your circumstances and provide you with practical support and advice. Call 0844 324 5840 or contact us online to find out how we can help your business.