Employers: Prepare for National Minimum Wage

National Minimum WageWorkplace experts Acas are reminding employers to be prepared for the National Minimum Wage which rises again on Tuesday 1st October.

Next week the National Minimum Wage increases again and businesses need to be ready for the change.

The prompt comes from Acas, after a number of employers were caught out and around 500 employment tribunal claims concerning the national minimum wage were made.

Additionaly, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) had identified as many as 736 businesses who had failed to pay their staff the minimum wage.

For businesses who need a reminder, the National Minimum Wage rates are applicable from next Tuesday the 1st of October are:

  • £6.31 for workers aged 21 years and over
  • £5.03 for people aged 18 to 20 years old
  • £3.72 for employees aged 16 to 17 years old
  • £2.68 for apprentices under 19
  • £2.68 for apprentices 19 or over and who are in the first year of their apprenticeship

Speaking abou the drive to remind employers ofeir responsivilities, Ed Sweeney, Chair of Acas said:

“Employers have a legal duty to pay the national minimum wage or they risk getting prosecuted if they refuse to pay it.”

Acas has laucnhed a new online tool to help employers to determine the correct minimum wage payments to their workers. The tool can be accessed at www.acas.org.uk/nmw

Acas also offers a helpine with free advice for employers and business owners with any questions regargin the new minimum wage rates can call the Acas helpline on 08457 47 47 47 (8am-8pm, Monday to Friday and 9am -1pm Saturdays)

The Acas helpline is a trusted source of free advice with over 90% of callers saying they were satisfied with the service; last year there around 80,000 calls to Acas regarding minimum wage and pay in general.

Sweeney added that employers who act quickly will be better prepared and less likely to fall foul of the law;

“Most employers should be aware of the changes taking place from 1 October but the earlier you seek advice about any concerns you have about employee wages then the more likely you are to be able to avoid the cost, stress and time involved in an employment tribunal.”

Agricultural and horticultural workers in England will also be subject to National Minimum Wage rates from the 1st October where previously they had been covered bu the Agricultural Wages order 2012. Workers in Scotland will still be covered by the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board and worker in Wales will continue under the curent arrangements.

For past levels of pay see our page on National Minimum Wage historical rates.

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