HMRC prioritises recruitment sector in NMW crackdown

Recruitment has been one of the sectors prioritised by HM Revenue & Customs in a crackdown to enforce National Minimum Wage (NMW) rules.

In the year 2017/18, 17 recruiters have been named and shamed by government for underpaying NMW.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) released a statement over the weekend revealing a record enforcement year for HMRC for the year 2017/18. The statement coincided with government setting out evidence and analysis to the Low Pay Commission on NMW and National Living Wage policy.

Some of BEIS’s headline findings include:

  • More than 200,000 workers, who were paid less than the minimum wage, had been identified following the government’s clampdown
  • A record £15.6m of NMW underpayment was identified, affecting more than 200,000 workers
  • Employers were fined an unprecedented £14m for not meeting legal obligations
  • More than 600 employers were named in 2017/18 for underpaying NMW.

HMRC further revealed social care, retail, commercial warehousing, the gig economy sector, employment agencies, apprentices and migrant workers were prioritised by HMRC for enforcement of the minimum wage over the period. HMRC added these sectors were prioritised as they were considered to be the sectors where non-compliance with NMW was more widespread.

Recruiter analysis of government’s NMW non-compliance lists released over 2017/18 reveals 17 of the 600 employers named were recruitment agencies.

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