Minimum Wage: Prosecutions

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 5th February 2019.

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Photo of Jo Stevens Jo Stevens Labour, Cardiff Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the number of prosecutions for non-payment of the National Minimum Wage (a) overall since 2010 and (b) for each year since 2010.

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

The Government is committed to enforcement of the minimum wage. We have increased HMRC’s annual minimum wage enforcement budget to £26.3 million, up from £13.2 million in 2015/16. In 2017/18, HMRC took action against more than 1,000 businesses, identifying £15.6 million of pay arrears for workers and levying financial penalties of £14 million.

Since the beginning of 2010 there have been a total of seven prosecutions for breaches of National Minimum Wage law. These are itemised by year in Annex C of the following published document: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/742668/nmw-nlw-enforcement-compliance-report-2018.pdf

HMRC refer cases to the Crown Prosecution Service, who ultimately decide whether to prosecute. HMRC’s priority is to ensure that workers receive the money they are owed. Criminal sanctions against companies can mean that workers end up waiting longer for their lost earnings to be paid back.

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