By Deirdre Tynan • 17 August 2021 • 12:40
By law, workers must be paid at least the minimum wage for their age. Here are 10 outrageous excuses employers have used to try and flout the rules.
While the vast majority of employers pay their employees at least the National Minimum Wage, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has today released some of the most absurd excuses used for not paying the legal minimum.
In the 2020 to 2021 tax year, HMRC helped more than 155,000 workers across the UK recover more than £16 million in pay which was due to them, and also issued more than £14 million in penalties.
Some of the most ridiculous excuses for flouting the law included:
Steve Timewell, Director Individuals and Small Business Compliance, HMRC, said, “The majority of UK employers pay their workers at least the National Minimum Wage, but this list shows some of the excuses provided to our enforcement officers by less scrupulous businesses. Being underpaid is no joke for workers, so we always apply the law and take action. Workers cannot be asked or told to sign-away their rights.
“We are making sure that workers are being paid what they are entitled to and, as the economy reopens, reminding employers of the rules and the help that is available to them.
“HMRC reviews every complaint made about the minimum wage, so if you think you are being short-changed, or are a business that is unsure of the rules or needs help to get things right, get in touch and we will help you. But any employer deliberately or unapologetically underpaying their staff will face hefty fines and other enforcement action,” he added on August 17.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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