16 February 2017

Following the public ‘naming and shaming’ of businesses in the UK who were exposed for underpaying their employees the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage, the NHF has today issued a warning to businesses.

In addition to the public humiliation from the government, employers who don’t pay at the right rates are breaking the law and face the consequences which include staggering fines of up to £20,000 per underpaid worker, as well as back-payments.

The NHF’s CEO Hilary Hall comments:

We were disappointed that 39 of the 350 businesses who were named and shamed are from the hair and beauty sector, the highest number after hospitality and retail. We have repeatedly warned that HMRC are specifically targeting hair and beauty businesses, with additional resources including the first ever Director of Labour Market Enforcement to oversee the government’s tough new approach.

We have actively worked with HMRC to help employers identify the most common reasons for inadvertently under-paying their staff and to put things right. We also provide round the clock employment law support and specialist advice on wages, tax and VAT to help with the sometimes complicated issues which surround the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage such as deductions for uniforms, scissors and other tools or equipment.”

See below for details of what the 4.2% increase in the National Living Wage will look like from 1 April 2017, along with the rises in the National Minimum Wage hourly rates for those aged under 25 and apprentices:

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice*
2016 £7.20 £6.95 £5.55 £4.00 £3.40
April 2017 £7.50 £7.05 £5.60 £4.05 £3.50

*aged 16-18 or those aged 19 or over who in the first year of their apprenticeship

What to do next? These are the steps you should take before 1 April 2017:

  • Make sure you know the right rate for ALL your employees and check birthdays carefully
  • Update your payroll before 1 April 2017
  • Tell staff about any changes to their pay

Still confused? Don’t worry, help is at hand…