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

(1) how many non-criminal financial penalties were issued by HM Revenue and Customs to employers for underpayment of the minimum wage in each of the last six financial years;

(2) how many employers were found by HM Revenue and Customs to have paid the minimum wage in each of the last six financial years.

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

The Government takes the enforcement of National Minimum Wage (NMW) very seriously and HMRC enforce NMW legislation on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and has done so since the introduction of NMW in April 1999.

The vast majority of employers obey the law and pay their employees at least the national minimum wage.

HMRC investigates all complaints made about employers suspected of not paying the minimum wage, in addition to carrying out targeted enforcement where it identifies a high risk of non-payment of NMW across the whole of the UK.

The number of penalties issued for non-payment of National Minimum Wage for the time scales requested is set out as follows:

Financial year Penalties issued Penalties amount (£)
2008-09 1n/a 1n/a
2009-10 381 111,183
2010-11 934 520,568
2011-12 906 766,807
2012-13 708 776,517
2013-14 652 815,269
1 Civil penalties were introduced on 6 April 2009 for employers who are found to have underpaid their workers.

I refer the hon. Member to my response of 6 May 2014, Hansard, column 110W. In 2008-09, there were 4,317 complete inspections with 1,746 incidences of non-compliance.

In all years, the remaining investigations did not highlight sufficient evidence to prove non-compliance with the National Minimum Wage Act.

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