Minimum Wage

Treasury written question – answered on 12th September 2014.

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Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Attorney General

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the sum was of unpaid wages involved in each of the cases where employers have been prosecuted for non-payment of the minimum wage since 1999.

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The Government takes the enforcement of NMW very seriously and HMRC review every complaint that is referred to them, investigating the complaint and, in addition, carrying out targeted enforcement where we identify a high risk of non-payment of NMW.

With the agreement of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, HMRC started prosecution for minimum wage offences from August 2007.

The total sum of arrears involved in cases where employers have been prosecuted is £20,034.

Criminal investigations do not guarantee arrears being paid to workers and are reserved only for the most serious cases. The Government is cracking down on employers who break the law and have increased the financial penalty percentage that employers pay for breaking minimum wage law from 50 per cent to 100 per cent and the maximum penalty has increased from £5,000 to £20,000. The revised penalty is calculated as 100 per cent of the total underpayment for all of the workers specified in a Notice of Underpayment relating to pay reference periods that commence on or after 7 March 2014.

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