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National Minimum Wage - HMRC Offer Compliance Support to Employers

HMRC have released their December issue of The Employer Bulletin with important updates on the National Minimum Wage and their offer of Compliance Support for employers.

The bulletin states that as 'part of our compliance approach', HMRC will be contacting employers based on geographical location rather than business type with the aim of raising awareness and increase knowledge of the complexities of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) legislation to reduce the risk of non-compliance.

They also state that some employers will be offered a free phone call with one of HMRC's NMW experts where, if any issues are identified, employers will be given the opportunity to correct them with no sanctions being applied

What to do if you receive a letter 

If you, or your agent (if they are your registered business address) receive a letter from HMRC, you should take action to review your workforce to check that they are all being paid at least the minimum wage. HMRC say that they recognise that mistakes are easy to make, and you may not always be aware if something has gone wrong. Although paying the correct rate of pay is important, it is not always that simple and there are lots of ways workers who are paid at or even above the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage, can be underpaid. Examples include: 

  • deductions from pay for items in connection with the job 

  • unpaid working time, including travelling and training   

If you receive a letter inviting you to take part in a free support call with one of the NMW experts, HMRC advise that they strongly encourage you to take them up on the offer. Feedback from the circa 2500 businesses that have taken part in a call so far has been 'extremely positive' HMRC have said.  

Businesses in the selected area that choose not to take action, or participate in the call when offered, run the risk of HMRC’s NMW team undertaking an official full review of their business. The usual sanctions would apply if any underpayment of workers is identified.  

More information on calculating and enforcing the minimum wage is available.  

The NMW team also have a suite of recorded webinars available on how to avoid common mistakes, record keeping and what to expect from a HMRC check

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