National Minimum Wage Services


National Minimum Wage Investigation

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have been cracking down on National Minimum Wage (NMW) compliance in recent years and it is likely to continue to appear at the forefront of their enforcement agenda due to the hefty penalties that can be collected by HMRC from non-compliant employers.

How can Aspire help?

  • Deliver detailed National Minimum Wage compliance reviews
  • Give best practice National Minimum Wage compliance advice
  • Review whether you are paying employees the National Minimum Wage, including areas targeted by HMRC such as deductions from employees’ remuneration that are for the use and benefit of the employer and/or in connection with their employment
  • Manage HMRC National Minimum Wage enquiries
  • National Minimum Wage compliance training
  • Interpretation of National Minimum Wage legislation and HMRC guidance
  • Provide advice surrounding sleep-in shifts and the National Minimum Wage  

Why is HMRC targeting National Minimum Wage enquiries?

You might believe that paying your employees the National Minimum Wage is a straight forward task, however, there are many ways that employers breach the National Minimum Wage without consciously doing so.

The National Minimum Wage regulations are stringent meaning that HMRC are able to capitalise on businesses that are making mistakes.

Whistleblowing National Minimum Wage breaches have increased in recent years (particularly in sectors such as care where there are ongoing challenges in the Courts surrounding sleep-in shifts) meaning that more investigations are taking place. We are aware that the HMRC NMW investigation team has been invested into which is hardly a surprise due to the revenue that could be generated for the Treasury from non-compliant employers.

Common National Minimum Wage breaches:

  • Pay averaging - Employers paying the same monthly salary regardless of variations in hours worked
  • Portion of remuneration exchanged for non-monetary benefits
  • Prescriptive dress codes which employers do not provide
  • Deductions for uniform, Protective Personal Equipment, training, locker keys/key cards etc
  • Clocking in and out systems
  • Timesheets/payroll errors leading to a breach
  • Other working time not being captured e.g. sleep-in shifts, travel time and informal overtime

What happens if I don’t pay the National Minimum Wage?

HMRC have a team of investigators that specialise in conducting National Minimum Wage enquiries and have an extensive range of powers to inspect company documents, conduct interviews and raise notices of underpayment for the arrears due.

If HMRC obtains evidence that you are paying your employees under the National Minimum Wage, they have powers to send a notice of underpayment for the arrears due to workers and correspondingly issue penalties to your business. The penalty is 200% of arrears owed to workers, with a maximum of £20,000 per worker.

However, a financial penalty isn’t the only cause for concern. Every business that receives a notice of underpayment is also displayed on HMRC’s ‘naming and shaming’ list which includes their company name and details, which could also find its way to the media. The reputational repercussions of this can be hugely detrimental to any business, however, especially damaging those wanting to establish a preferred supplier status – due diligence will uncover your mistakes!

Why choose Aspire?

Aspire have many years of experience assisting clients with National Minimum Wage compliance, HMRC investigations and other related NMW advice. If your NMW compliance is something that you are concerned about, we always advise that immediate action should be taken.

Aspire can address your NMW compliance concerns and can manage even the most complex HMRC investigations. Call us on 0121 445 6178, email enquire@aspirepartnership.co.uk or chat to us through our live chat box for any query or assistance.