05 June 2023

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has reported that last year, almost 2,800 workers in Birmingham were underpaid by £775,000. HMRC is writing to more than 8,000 employers in the Birmingham area to highlight common mistakes around the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW).

Common mistakes include deductions or payments from items connected to the job, such as uniforms, not paying employees for the full time they have worked and not paying apprentices correctly. In the summer, HMRC will be writing to workers in Birmingham asking them to report any concerns they may have about being underpaid the NMW.

The letters issued by HMRC also signposts to further advice and contains a checklist for employers to work through to help identify any mistakes they are making. This is part of HMRC’s regular compliance outreach activity, focusing on areas of the UK by offering support and helping businesses identify risks.

Marc Gill, Director of Individuals and Small Business Compliance at HMRC, said:

“It is employers’ responsibility to ensure their workers get the pay they are due under minimum wage rules but we are here to support those who need information to get it right.

Employers must pay the correct wage to their workers. Our information and checklist will help employers get it right first time, assist them in identifying any possible mistakes and make sure their staff are not losing out.”

It is reported that Birmingham employers were handed penalties of more than £900,000 last year because they failed to comply with minimum wage rules. Businesses failing to comply with minimum wage rules could face penalties of up to 200% of their arrears – plus having to pay the arrears owed to workers. Employers who do not pay the NMW can be publicly ‘named’.

Employers can access some of the below support to ensure they are paying the NMW correctly:

  • view the online employers’ guide on calculating the minimum wage
  • contact the Acas helpline
  • view HMRC’s recorded webinars on various minimum wage topics which can be accessed by clicking here.

The full press release can be found here.

Information provided in this news article may be subject to change. Please make note of the date of publication to ensure that you are viewing up to date information.