Information article by HMRC
By law, almost all workers aged 25 and over must be paid at least the National Living Wage, or, if younger, the National Minimum Wage.
The Government usually increases the minimum wage rates annually on 1 April.
Workers that are being paid at or slightly above the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage could still be missing out. This can happen if their employer makes mistakes in calculating pay. Common errors include:
- Paying staff at the wrong rate by failing to implement annual rate increases, such as missing their birthdays meaning they are not moving workers from one age band to another. Errors can also happen when the apprentice rate is applied incorrectly.
- Making deductions or payments connected to the job which can take pay below the legal rates. For example, asking staff to pay for uniforms, meals, tools or safety clothing.
- Including tips, shift allowances or bonuses as a part of a worker’s pay to bring their pay up to National Minimum Wage rates.
- Unpaid working time which are additional hours worked but not paid. These can be regular periods of time such as time spent helping to shut up a shop or clearing security after a worker’s shift has ended.
- Worker status errors by mistakenly treating workers as either volunteers or self-employed. Find out more about self-employed status for workers.
- Charging workers for accommodation and not applying the £44.80 weekly accommodation offset allowance correctly. The accommodation offset is the amount allowed to be deducted before it impacts a worker’s pay for the purpose of National Minimum Wage. More information about accommodation offset.
- Not paying a worker for time spent training, travelling between appointments or other working time.
What you can do
If you are unsure whether you or someone you are helping is being paid the correct National Minimum Wage you can ask them to call the Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100 to get more advice. Alternatively workers can make an online complaint on GOV.UK by searching for ‘Pay and work rights complaints’. HMRC will not tell the employer a worker’s name without their permission.