A uniform approach to the National Minimum Wage?
The recent announcement from HMRC shows that more than 260 employers in the UK have been named and shamed for underpaying employees in respect of national minimum wage and national living wage entitlements.
A record 16,000 workers will be reimbursed £1.7m after being underpaid. The most common reasons for underpaying were reported to be: employers who had deducted money from pay for uniforms; not paid them for overtime; and/or failed to pay workers travelling between jobs.
The biggest sector for underpayment were retail groups, followed by hospitality and hairdressing. Sports Direct and The Best Connection Group – which supplies workers to Sports Direct warehouses – were among the top five underpaying companies.
Primark, the clothing retailer was the single largest employer reported to have to paid almost 10,000 staff below the national minimum wage because of a uniform policy that required employees to wear black clothes at work, but they had not reimbursed them for the cost of their uniforms. The firm has since repaid 9,735 underpaid staff a total of £231,973 and has also been hit with an undisclosed fine.
Under the National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015, deductions made for a uniform that an employer requires an employee to wear must be taken into account when it comes to calculating the minimum wage. This is also the case for certain other benefits.
A spokesperson for Primark, has said that its uniform policy changed last year and that it "had reviewed its procedures to avoid this situation re-occurring".
If you make deductions from your employees’ wages and are not sure whether these should be taken into account, please contact your payroll adviser or get in touch for advice.
Posted on 22 Dec 2017