Research and analysis

Non-compliance and enforcement of the National Minimum Wage - April 2019

This report from the Low Pay Commission finds that the number of people paid less than the statutory minimum wage in the UK increased in 2018.

Documents

Non-compliance and enforcement of the National Minimum Wage

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Details

This Low Pay Commission (LPC) report looks at the most up to date statistical evidence on the extent of non-compliance with the minimum wage and uses evidence from stakeholders and the Government to reflect on the policy responses to non-compliance.

LPC Chair Bryan Sanderson said:

Our analysis reveals that a worrying number of people are being paid less than the minimum wage. We recently celebrated 20 years of the minimum wage – it has raised pay for millions of workers, but it is essential that people receive what they are entitled to. It is also vital for businesses to be able to operate on a level playing field and not be illegally undercut on wages.

The Government has made real progress with its enforcement of the minimum wage, but more needs to be done to ensure employers comply in the first place and workers know how to enforce their rights.

The report contains recommendations for the Government’s enforcement regime. The LPC recommends that the Government continues to invest strongly in communications to both workers and employers around minimum wage compliance and enforcement. The report makes specific recommendations around information for workers and trade unions, guidance for employers and publicity around the enforcement regime.

Measuring the full extent of minimum wage non-compliance remains a significant challenge. The LPC urges the Government to use all available opportunities to improve the measurement of underpayment, and to investigate new methodologies for assessing the scale of non-compliance.

Enforcement of the minimum wage

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is responsible for minimum wage compliance and enforcement policy and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) enforces the National Minimum Wage Act on behalf of BEIS.

Workers can complain about underpayment and seek redress by contacting HMRC or Acas:

  • Use the pay and work rights complaint form on GOV.UK.

  • Call the Acas helpline on 0300 123 1100.

National Minimum Wage rates

Minimum wage rate Rate 1 April 2018-31 March 2019 Rate from 1 April 2019
National Living Wage £7.83 £8.21
21-24 Year Old Rate £7.38 £7.70
18-20 Year Old Rate £5.90 £6.15
16-17 Year Old Rate £4.20 £4.35
Apprentice Rate £3.70 £3.90
Accommodation Offset £7.00 £7.55

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Published 25 April 2019