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Abuse of the National Minimum Wage by Employers

It seems some don't understand the word 'minimum' ...

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Posted by Roger Eddowes on 01/11/2021 @ 8:00AM

If you remember, the National Minimum Wage (NMW) was introduced back in 1999, offering minimum wage protection for every worker in the United Kingdom ...

I'm so glad none of Essendon's clients abuse their workers by not paying the National Minimum Wage!

I'm so glad none of Essendon's clients abuse their workers by not paying the National Minimum Wage!

copyright: kurhan / 123rf

It was designed to end what was a scandal at the time, known as 'poverty pay'. In fact, there are a set of minimum hourly rates which depend on the age of the worker and whether they are an apprentice or not.

"HMRC overseas compliance with NMW!"

In 2020/21, HMRC helped over 150,000 workers recover more than £16 million in pay due to them. They also issued over £14 million in penalties for employers who didn't comply with the NMW rules. The system is regularly abused by unscrupulous companies.

There have been some shocking excuses made to HMRC including, "she doesn't deserve the National Minimum Wage as she only makes tea and sweeps up" and, "It's part of UK culture not to pay younger workers for three months as they need to prove themselves". Well, neither of those are true, are they? Neither is, "The National Living Wages doesn't apply to my business". Um, yes, it does.

NMW applies to every business wherever it is in the United Kingdom. Without exception. Even if an employer writes it into their employment contracts ... which the workers then signed not knowing their rights ... they are still breaking the law and are liable to receive a large penalty from HMRC.

"People can't sign away their rights to NMW!"

Some of the excuses that HMRC has publicised horrify me. They seem amusing at first, but show a total lack of respect for workers, and a flagrant disregard for the law of the land. An employer exploiting their workers is just wrong on every level.

I'm so glad none of Essendon's clients do that.

Until next time ...

Business Godparent


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About Roger Eddowes ...


Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts and Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014 as a general practitioner with a hands-on approach.

Roger loves getting his hands dirty, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Roger utilises an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions.