National Minimum Wage blitz
HMRC together with Hackney Council, Home Office Immigration Enforcement and the police have been tackling businesses in Hackney. A total of seven businesses were targeted for failing to pay the National Minimum Wage (NMW) as well as other tax irregularities and illegal activities. The businessestargeted were in the beauty industry, an area in which there have been previous issues with non compliance.
A total of forty officers visited the seven businesses resulting in five employees being owed money due to the underpayment of the NMW. HMRC has legal powers to enforce the NMW and employers not paying the right amount could be fined, find themselves having to backdate pay to an employee and end up in court. The raids also identified businesses with VAT and Income Tax irregularities as well as immigration offences and unlicensed businesses.
Tracy Kirkham, Assistant Director of HMRC’s National Minimum Wage team, said:
‘Paying the National Minimum Wage is not optional – it’s the law. It is unacceptable for employers to cheat staff and HMRC are pleased to work with Hackney Council and other partner agencies to ensure the rules are being followed, and take action where they are not. Last year over 22,000 workers were underpaid by businesses across the UK and got back a share of over £4.6 million as a result of HMRC’s actions.’
The current minimum NMW hourly rate is £6.50 for adults aged 21 years and older. There are lower rates for apprentices and employees aged under 21.