National Minimum Wage is increased

The government has announced that the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for adults is to increase by 12 pence an hour to £6.31, for workers aged 21 and over, in October 2013.

At the same time, the NMW for 18 to 20 year olds will go up 5p an hour to £5.03 and the apprentice minimum wage rate, which will increase by 3p an hour to £2.68.

The increases come into force on 1st October and the Government has stated that it intends to raise awareness of rights and responsibilities on pay and will embark on an enforcement programme to prevent non-compliance by employers.

There has been recent press speculation that employers are beginning to resist increasing pay as a result of the current economic situation.

So this is a timely reminder of the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) rules in cases of non-compliance;

– HMRC can issue a notice of underpayment, ordering an employer to make good any underpayment to a worker within 28 days

– HMRC can issue a fine for failing to comply and even accidental underpayments may not prevent a fine

– The penalty is set at 50% of the total underpayment of the NMW, the minimum penalty is £100 and the maximum £5,000

– Failure to pay the fine and make good the underpayment within 28 days can lead to further civil and persistent cases of non-compliance will result in criminal proceedings

For specialist advice on contracts for workers and employees and all pay matters contact Lawspeed today on 01273 236 236 or email