Living Wage

Treasury written question – answered on 14th June 2018.

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Photo of Jo Stevens Jo Stevens Labour, Cardiff Central

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of employers who were found to have been paying below the national living wage but not prosecuted in (a) 2016 and (b) 2017.

Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General

The government is determined that everyone who is entitled to the National Minimum and Living Wage (NMW) receives it.

HMRC does not hold separate data for National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage. As referenced in UIN 136268, the ‘National Living Wage’ is a rate for workers aged 25 and over which was introduced in April 2016.

HMRC always takes action to ensure workers receive what they are entitled to. In 2015/16, 958 employers were identified as paying below the NMW. In 2016/17, 1134 employers were identified as paying below the NMW, of which two were prosecuted for underpayment of NMW.

Breaches of NMW legislation are normally a civil matter, consequences for not complying with paying NMW can include fines of 200% of the arrears and public naming.

Criminal prosecution is reserved for the most serious non-compliance. The most serious NMW breaches and cases that form part of wider criminality will be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service who decide whether to prosecute.

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