National minimum wage shame

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) has been with us for some years now and successive governments has been trying to ensure that employers abide by it and honour payments to eligible workers.

In the earlier years of this scheme the rate of non-observance was high. In October 2013 the Government took a new approach and started naming and shaming those employers who failed to abide by the national minimum wage. Earlier this month, Business Minister, Nick Bowles announced the names of 92 companies who were ignoring their obligations and it showed that they owed £1,873,712 in arrears and those companies were to be found in all sectors of the economy, including hairdressing, social care, and hospitality and security services.

Since October 2013 490 employers have been named and shamed and arrears stand at in excess of £3,000,000 and the Government has imposed penalties of over £1.1 million on errant employers.

The National Living Wage (NLW) will be introduced in April of this year and Nick Bowles pledged to enforce that new higher standard of living equally robustly. In other words, the pressure will not relent and unscrupulous employers should expect to be called out if they do not comply.

If in doubt, we give here a note of the current rates of NMW:-

1. For those aged 21 and over it is £6.70 per hour
2. For those aged 18 – 20 it is £5.30
3. Under 18s is £3.87
4. Apprentices £3.30*

In April 2016 NLW will be £7.20 an hour for workers aged 25 and older. The minimum wage will still apply for workers dated 24 and under.

*The apprentice rate is for those aged 16 – 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in the first year of their apprenticeship. All other apprentices are entitled to the national minimum wage for their age.