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Workers told to check they’re being paid minimum wage

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is urging workers to check they are being paid the national minimum wage.

HMRC helped 155,000 workers across the UK last year recover more than £16m in pay which was due to them.

All workers, including students and seasonal workers who often work short-term contracts in bars, hotels, shops and warehouses over the summer, are entitled to the national minimum wage.

The national minimum wage hourly rates are currently:
• £8.91 – Age 23 or over (National Living Wage)
• £8.36 – Age 21 to 22
• £6.56 – Age 18 to 20
• £4.62 – Age under 18
• £4.30 – Apprentice.

Steve Timewell, director individuals and small business compliance at HMRC, said: “We want to ensure that seasonal workers and students are being paid what they are entitled to and, as the economy reopens, help employers if they are unsure of the rules.

“Workers should check their hourly rate and look out for any deductions or unpaid working time which would reduce their pay. It could take them below the minimum wage.

“HMRC investigates every complaint made about the minimum wage, so whether you are selling sun cream, giving a hotel room a clean, or serving a strawberry smoothie, if you think you are being short-changed you should get in touch.”

In one case, Amber, a marketing apprentice, received £1,900 in back pay after she contacted HMRC because she was concerned that she was not being paid correctly.

How can you complain

If you’re worried you’re not being paid what you’re entitled to, you can complain online at https://www.gov.uk/minimum-wage-complaint.

Or you can call the Acas Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0300 123 1100, who may transfer the call to HMRC.

Employers can also contact the Acas Helpline for free help and advice or visit GOV.UK to find out more.

Employers who do not pay the national minimum wage can be publicly ‘named and shamed’ and those who blatantly fail to comply can face criminal prosecution.