To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 9 November 2018 to Question 187012, how many civil sanctions have been applied to employers for failing to pay the national minimum wage (a) in total and (b) in relation to internship roles in each year since 1 January 2017.
The government is determined to ensure that everyone who is entitled to the National Minimum and Living Wage (NMW) receives it. Anyone who feels they have not been paid the NMW should contact the Acas helpline on 0300 123 1100 or via the online complaints form at gov.uk. HMRC reviews all complaints that are referred to them.
All businesses, irrespective of size or business sector are responsible for paying the correct minimum wage to their staff. HMRC won’t hesitate to take action to ensure that workers receive what they are legally entitled to.
Most NMW cases are subject to civil (non-criminal) sanctions, the consequences of which include fines of up to 200% of the determined underpayment, and public naming.
In 2016/17, HMRC issued around £4 million in penalties to 821 employers for underpaying NMW to workers, and in 2017/18 issued over £14 million in penalties to 810 employers.
It is not possible to identify all NMW breaches involving the employment of interns, as HMRC does not routinely record the employment characteristics of individual workers who are owed and paid arrears. In most cases, interns would be repaid alongside all other workers and the data recorded as a single entry against the company.