Care sector abuse of minimum wage rules

More than 2,400 workers in the care sector were underpaid the National Minimum Wage (NMW) in the last two years across the United Kingdom.

Over the two-year period, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) looked at jobs across the sector and investigated 224 employers. Some investigations are ongoing, but to date 88 cases have been found to be non-compliant.

These investigations have identified nearly £340,000 in arrears for over 2,400 workers and also over £110,000 in penalties to employers for breaking the law.

Jo Swinson, Employment Relations Minister, said:

“Anyone entitled to the National Minimum Wage should receive it. Paying anything less than this is illegal and unacceptable. Government will take tough action on employers who break the law, as we can see through HMRC’s investigation into the care sector. As well as financial penalties, employers who don’t play by the rules can be publically named and shamed and may even be prosecuted.”

The results of targeted enforcement carried out by HMRC found that the main reasons offered by care sector employers for not paying the minimum wage included: making illegal deductions such as uniform costs; not paying for time spent training or travelling between care jobs; charges for living accommodation; incorrect hourly pay rates; and incorrect use of apprentice rates.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0.

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If you need help with an employment law matter, including advice on the national minimum wage, contact our specialist solicitors on 01224 370 208 or fill in our enquiry form today.

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