Noticias de la Cámara

Mayo Wynne Baxter - Pay and Pay Equality

13/03/2017 mayo_wynne_baxter_logo_1

The British are notoriously bad at discussing money, so the stereotype goes, but pay and pay equality have very much been in the news in recent weeks.

HMRC have released details of the (frankly ridiculous) reasons some employers gave for not paying their workers the minimum wage and at the other end of the spectrum we have Jeremy Corbyn calling for a cap on maximum wages for high earners and Oxfam reporting that the eight richest people in the World control the same amount of wealth between them as the poorest 50% do.

Some of the reasons given by employers to HMRC for not paying their staff the minimum wage reportedly include:

  • She only sweeps the floor and makes tea so she doesn’t deserve to be paid the minimum wage.
  • The employee wasn’t a good worker so I didn’t think they deserved to be paid the minimum wage.
  • I thought foreign workers weren’t entitled to the minimum wage because they aren’t British.
  • My workers are often just on standby when there are no customers in the shop and I only pay them when they are actually serving someone.
  • My workers like to think of themselves as being self employed so the minimum wage doesn’t apply.
  • It is part of UK culture not to pay young workers for the first three months as they have to prove their “worth” first.

In case any readers are wondering, none of these excuses are lawful reasons for not paying the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

In fact not only are there no justifications in law for an employer failing to comply with their legal obligation to pay staff at least the NMW, but the burden of showing that the law has been complied with rests firmly with the employer who should keep records to demonstrate compliance for at least three years.

HMRC are responsible for enforcing the National Minimum Wage and have the power to prosecute and fine employers who don’t comply. They will target employers about whom complaints have been made and carry out investigations of their own, for example having profiled a particularly high risk industry (hairdressers is one example of such an industry). HMRC can carry out inspections at any time and without notice a process that can cause considerable inconvenience to businesses who haven’t kept good records.

Read the full article in Mayo Waynne Baxter's blog


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