Jonathan and Sharney - Solicitors at Swinburne Maddison

Enforcement of the National Minimum Wage


The Government has recently published a Report entitled “National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage: Government Evidence on Compliance and Enforcement, 2018”, which outlines its increased efforts to enforce compliance with National Minimum Wage Regulations.

The results are interesting and serve as a timely reminder to all employers to ensure they comply with the appropriate Regulations. 

Headline findings are as follows:

  • Underpayment of wages for over 200,000 workers of £15.6million was identified.
  • In each case of underpayment, the employer was ordered to make good the shortfall to their workers.
  • Non-compliant employers have been fined in total £14million.
  • Over 650 employers have been publicly “named and shamed” for failing to pay the National Minimum Wage.

It is also interesting to note that 56 employers approached HMRC voluntarily to check if they were complying with the Regulations, and this resulted in £250,000.00 being paid to over 675 workers.

In the past year, the Government has targeted the social care, retail, commercial warehousing and gig economy sectors, but who knows where they will focus their attention in the coming year.

It is very clear the Government’s efforts to enforce National Minimum Wage Regulations will continue.  Penny Ciniewicz, HMRC Director General of Customer Compliance, said, “HMRC is committed to ensuring that workers receive the wages they are legally entitled to, irrespective of their employer’s size or business sector...” and this was supported by the Business Minister, Kelly Tolhurst, who said, “We are dedicated to stopping underpayment of the Minimum Wage.  Employers must recognise their responsibilities and pay their workers the money they are entitled to.”

The Low Paid Commission Chairman, Bryan Sanderson, said, “Awareness of the Minimum Wage is vital for...employers...” and we could not agree more.  Any employer failing to comply with the Regulations is running the risk of being fined, and possibly named and shamed.

If you have a query relating to the National Minimum Wage, or indeed in relation to any aspect of HR or employment law, please contact Jonathan Moreland ( or Sharney Randhawa (, or call 0191 3842441.

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