HMRC issues warning to Britons – check your payslip or you could miss out
HMRC provide advice on self-employed tax returns
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According to HMRC, while the majority of bosses do pay their employees, a minority do have a habit of not paying the legal minimum in the UK.
The country’s National Minimum Wage is the lowest possible wage an employer is legally allowed to pay their worker.
Currently, the National Minimum Wage rate per hour is £8.91 for workers aged 23 and over.
This is also known as the National Living Wage, which can be given to workers of any age depending on the employer.
Anyone aged 21 or 22 will receive £8.36 an hour, while anyone between the ages of 18 to 20 will get a minimum wage of £6.56.
Workers under 18 will get a wage of £4.62 an hour, while apprentices aged under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year, will get a minimum wage of £4.30.
Among the worst excuses used by bosses in the UK to not pay the legal minimum wage were that workers were “undeserving” of it and lying about their employees being self-employed.
As the UK’s leading tax authority, HMRC are not only responsible for making sure the public pay their taxes but that they paid what they are owed from work.
Brits are being encouraged to become aware of their rights as workers and to address any workplace concerns about lack of proper payment.
READ MORE: Mortgage: Britons warned ‘what not to do’ when applying
Part of this encouragement includes the publication of HMRC’s list, which includes extensive examples of employers cutting peoples payslips short:
- “She does not deserve the National Minimum Wage because she only makes the teas and sweeps the floors.”
- “The employee was not a good worker, so I did not think they deserved to be paid the National Minimum Wage.”
- “My accountant and I speak a different language – he does not understand me, and that is why he does not pay my workers the correct wages.”
- “My employee is still learning so they are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage.”
- “It is part of UK culture not to pay young workers for the first three months as they have to prove their ‘worth’ first.”DON’T MISS
Some have asserted the minimum wage is not applicable to their business, while others said they had come to an “agreement” with their workers not to pay the sum.
Certain businesses argued they did not have to pay the National Minimum Wage as their employers were young, or not British.
And another employer said they only paid their employers for when they were actually serving individuals in a shop, rather than also when they are on standby.
These are all, of course, against the law, and must be modified.
Steven Timewell, Director Individuals and Small Business Compliance at HMRC, is reminding the British public the public body’s here to assist anyone who feels they are not getting the pay they deserve.
“Being underpaid is no joke for workers, so we always apply the law and take action. Workers cannot be asked or told to sign-away their rights,” Mr Timewell explained.
“We are making sure that workers are being paid what they are entitled to and, as the economy reopens, reminding employers of the rules and the help that is available to them.
“HMRC reviews every complaint made about the minimum wage, so if you think you are being short-changed, or are a business that is unsure of the rules or needs help to get things right, get in touch and we will help you.
“But any employer deliberately or unapologetically underpaying their staff will face hefty fines and other enforcement action.”
For Brits who are paid their wages at an hourly rate, HMRC is calling on them to check their hours and any deductions or unpaid working time.
However, many people across the country may feel sensitive about reaching out for support due to anxiety regarding money and dealing with workplace concerns. What can Britons do to address their payslip concerns?
How to contact HMRC
Anyone who does not believe they are being at least the minimum wage can contact the HMRC through their online complaints portal.
If you are looking to speak to someone over the phone in confidence, it is possible to call the Acas Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0300 123 1100. Calls from Acas Pay can be sent over to HMRC.
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