North West low paid unaware
of NMW rules
MOST low paid workers in the North West
would be unaware if they were being illegally denied the National Minimum Wage,
it has been revealed.
HM Revenue and Customs, which investigates National Minimum (NMW) and Living
Wage (NLW) breaches, revealed a survey of low paid workers across the region
found most were unaware of the rules and how their employer could be underpaying
The survey findings follow the launch of a nationwide Government campaign to
increase low paid workers' understanding of their rights around pay.
Jennie Granger, Director General for Customer Compliance at HMRC, said:-
"Almost all workers must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage; it's the
law and there are no exceptions. It really is that simple.
We are determined to ensure working people understand their rights; if you
think you are getting ripped off by your employer, tell us. We have a really
straightforward online form that anyone can use.
HMRC respond to every complaint we receive. In 2016 alone we helped over
58,000 workers get more than ₤10 million in underpaid wage arrears, putting
money back in their pockets."
Business Minister, Margot James, said:- "There are no excuses for
underpaying staff what they are legally entitled to. While most employers get it
right, there are still a small number who fail to play by the rules. I would
encourage anyone who thinks they may be paid less to contact Acas as soon as
Every call is followed up by HMRC and we are determined to make sure everybody
in work receives a fair wage."
The survey of workers earning less than ₤15,000 in the North West revealed:-
► 57% did not know staff earning the minimum wage must be paid for tasks or
checks done before or after they officially start work.
► 48% did not know an employer cannot charge someone receiving the minimum wage
for a uniform.
► 57% thought workers could agree to be paid less than the minimum wage.
► 54% believed apprentices were not entitled to the NMW.
► 73% did not know staff on the minimum wage must be paid for time spent
travelling between work assignments.
► 40% did not know anyone paid less than the minimum wage can legally claim back
The most common excuses from employers paying workers less than the minimum wage
include using tips to top up pay, making staff pay for their uniforms, not
paying for time spent shutting up the shop or clearing security checks, or time
spent travelling from one appointment to another.
HMRC helps people denied the minimum wage receive the money they are owed with
more than 300,000 people receiving more than ₤68 million of pay they wouldn't
otherwise have got since 1999.
A national advertising campaign; which is carried on public transport, in
shopping centres and other public places; has been on going ahead of the
Government's National Minimum and National Living Wage rates rising on 1 April
To complain about being paid less than your legal entitlement, ring the ACAS Helpline, on:- 0300 123 1100.