Minimum Wage

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 12th January 2017.

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Photo of Neil Coyle Neil Coyle Labour, Bermondsey and Old Southwark

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps the Government has taken against employers for not paying the national minimum wage.

Photo of Margot James Margot James Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

HM Revenue and Customs always investigate where they believe an employer is not paying the legal minimum wage, which includes following up every worker complaint they receive.

The latest available figures show that HMRC identified almost £10.3m of arrears owed to over 58,000 workers in 2015/16.

From April 2016 the Government doubled the National Minimum Wage penalty paid by employers from 100% to 200% of the arrears owed to the worker, up to a maximum of £20,000 per worker.

We have also increased HMRC’s enforcement budget from £13m in 2015/16 to £20m in 2016/17, and my Right Honourable friend the Chancellor announced a further £4.3m investment in the 2016 Autumn Statement. This additional funding has enabled an increase in the number of compliance officers available to investigate minimum wage abuses and allowed HMRC to conduct more proactive, risk-based enforcement in sectors where there is a higher risk of workers not being paid the legal minimum wage.

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