National Minimum Wage (NMW)
All workers (except limited excluded categories) are entitled to be paid no less than the NMW. The NMW is reviewed annually and at present is as follows: -
There are special rates for those undertaking an apprenticeship or those on government training schemes. The apprentice rate is £2.65 per hour.
The rate of pay is calculated by reference to all remuneration payable and therefore includes commission, tips and bonuses. The rate of pay is assessed over the workers pay period – usually weekly or monthly. There are detailed regulations which cover the calculation of which working hours count towards the assessment.
Failure to pay the NMW entitles the employee to bring an application within the employment tribunal or the County Court. The burden of proof is reversed, so that it is for the employer to prove that he is paying the minimum wage.
In addition to the rights of employees to enforce to NMW regulations the Inland Revenue may also undertake investigations to ensure compliance, including the power to issue enforcement notices and require the payment of back pay. Remedy can be very expensive. Repeated or wilful breach of the regulations can lead to criminal proceedings being taken against offending employees.
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