Could you be at risk of a £20,000 fine over the national minimum wage?

Many companies within the IT and telecommunications sector are unaware that they could be fined up to £20,000 for not paying employees the national minimum wage (NMW), according to a poll.

The Government survey has discovered that 80 per cent of the telecomms sector was oblivious of the fine they could face.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills carried out the nationwide survey of 1,000 employers, which found that 12 per cent of respondents did not know what the hourly NMW rate would be from October 1st.

Nearly 1.5 million workers in the UK are estimated to being paid at or below the NMW of £6.70, according to a separate ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings from 2014.

Additionally, 49 per cent didn’t know it was an offence not to pay the NMW, while 58 per cent didn’t know they must repay workers they have underpaid.

Employers could face a huge £20,000 fine for not paying their workers at least the NMW, as well as risking the chance of being publically named and shamed.

From October 1st, the NMW will increase from £6.50 to £6.70 for 21-year-olds and over, and represents the biggest increase in the rate since 2006.

Apprentices will also see an increase in wages, with the largest increase at 21 per cent, meaning apprentices will take home £1,037 more in their pay checks.

The majority of employers have welcomed the increase, however 30 per cent of respondents stated that they didn’t think full time employees were eligible, plus 52 per cent didn’t think trainees or those on probation were eligible.

The fact that many employers were unaware of the consequences they could face by not meeting the NMW requirements, proves companies need to ensure they are aware of the latest developments and avoid breaking the law.

Image source: Shutterstock

Check Also

Beyond Encryption Announces Free Secure Comms for All

A free version of Beyond Encryption’s Mailock email encryption solution will provide users with encrypted …