Over £4.6m in wage arrears was paid to more than 22,000 workers in 2013/14 as a result of action by HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) National Minimum Wage (NMW) enforcement teams.
New figures show that in 2013/14, HMRC:
- conducted 1,455 investigations
- issued 652 financial penalties, worth £815,269
- found arrears in 47% of cases – the highest strike rate since the NMW was introduced
- recovered average arrears of around £205 per worker.
Examples of underpayment cases where HMRC has taken action in the past year include a recruitment agency being ordered to pay more than £167,000 to workers, such as some it had classified as unpaid interns.
Business minister Jenny Willott said that any employers who fail to pay the NMW under the government’s new rules would be “named and shamed, and face a stiff financial penalty”.