HMRC issues £14 million in penalties for minimum wage offences

According to a report produced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), HMRC issued 580 fines totalling over £14 million for minimum wage violations in 2020/21.

Penalties for non-compliance with the national minimum wage (NMW) and national living wage (NLW) have decreased by £4.5 million from the previous year, when 992 penalties totaling £18.5 million were issued.

According to the BEIS research, HMRC has changed its messaging to make it clear to employees that they can remain anonymous while filing a complaint and that they can report a previous employer for minimum wage violations.

It also promises to be more open about the most common minimum wage violations it discovers, such as deductions from workers’ pay and unpaid work time, in order to assist businesses in remaining compliant.

The report said:

‘BEIS therefore publishes an educational bulletin with each naming round to help raise awareness of minimum wage rules and improve compliance. Bulletins include analysis of the most common breaches in each naming round, examples to ensure understanding of how such breaches can be avoided, and links to the government’s Calculating Minimum Wage guidance for further details.’

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