Pay your staff the legal minimum wage or face fines or prosecution, Wisbech firm warns

Mark Hildred, Managing Partner at Moore Thompson

Mark Hildred, Managing Partner at Moore Thompson - Credit: Archant

A Wisbech firm is reminding businesses they could be fined up to £20,000 if they do not pay staff the new national living wage.

A law change which came into force this month means in the most serious cases a company could face criminal prosecution.

Mark Hildred, managing partner at Moore Thompson chartered accountants, said: “I suspect the majority of businesses have prepared their payroll to ensure that workers over the age of 25 are now receiving the new national living wage of £7.20 an hour.

“However, there may still be some out there that haven’t done this and it is integral that this is rectified immediately.

“An effective and carefully managed payroll system can prevent a business ever being penalised.”

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The national living wage is set to go up incrementally to £9 an hour by 2020 and the national minimum wage for those between the ages of 21 to 24 is also due to go up by 25p to £6.95 this October.

The wages of 18 to 20 year olds will go from £5.30 to £5.55 per hour.

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“Whilst the majority of businesses will have focused on making sure their employees are being paid the correct statutory wage, many may not have realised that failing to do so now carries much harsher penalties than before,” he said.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has taken a more active role in recent years of naming and shaming the worst offenders, regardless of their size, which could have a significant impact on a business’s reputation, he added.

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