Over the last few weeks we have become aware of a number of instances where employers who pay their employees at the appropriate National Minimum Wage rate for their age, have been found, and fined by HMRC for paying below the National Minimum Wage specifically where employees are actually paid in equal monthly or weekly instalments based on an annual salary.
A twenty-five year old employee would currently be entitled to be paid £7.50 per hour for each hour worked. Assuming they were contacted to work eight hours a day, five days a week, this would mean they would be entitled to be paid £60.00 per day or £300.00 per week.
For employees who are paid monthly, it would be usual for the employee to be salaried and paid £15,600.00 per annum (£300.00 x 52 weeks), or £1,300.00 per month (£15,600 / 12 months).
However, because the number of working days in a month varies between twenty and twenty-three days, to meet the requirements of the National Minimum Wage the employee is entitled to be paid £1,200.00 for a twenty day month, £1,260.00 for a twenty-one day month, £1,320.00 for a twenty-two day month and £1,380.00 for a twenty-three day month.
On this basis, in months where there are twenty-two working days or more, an employee being paid £1,300.00 per month is being paid below the National Minimum Wage and our experience is that HMRC will not accept the fact that the employee is actually paid above the National Minimum Wage where there are less then twenty-two working days as a defence.
If your company have salaried employees being paid at National Minimum Wage rates and would like some help to make sure that your company isn't 'named and shamed' or fined by HMRC, give us a call.