By Neilson Watts (Associate Product Manager, Sage One Payroll).
Each year on the 1st October, there is one legislative update that happens that most employers miss – the annual change to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates.
National Minimum Wage – did you know?
If you employ someone between the ages of 16 and 20 regardless of the size of your business, whether the employee is full or part time, paid weekly or monthly then it’s likely they are entitled to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and as an employer it’s your responsibility to pay it.
So what happens if you get it wrong?
Any employers not complying with NMW and mistakenly underpaying their employees could be subject to penalties or fines ranging between £100 and £5,000 and, in the most serious cases, unlimited fines, so it’s really important that you get it right!
What are the NMW rates from 1st October 2013?
|Workers age||Rate from 1st Oct 2013||Rate from 1st Oct 2012|
|21 and over||£6.31 per hour||£6.19 per hour|
|18 to 20||£5.03 per hour||£4.98 per hour|
|16 and 17||£3.72 per hour||£3.68 per hour|
|The apprentice rate*||£2.68 per hour||£2.65 per hour|
*Note: For apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship. Once an apprentice is aged 19 and in at least the second year of their apprenticeship, they are entitled to the relevant national minimum wage rate.
So what happens if I have a pay period that overlaps 1st October 2013?
If you have a pay period that overlaps the 1st October then you should use the 1st October 2012 rates, then start using the new 2013 rates on the next pay period.
What if my employee has signed a contract which is less than the NMW?
Your employee is entitled to NMW regardless of any contract, even if they have signed it under their own free will. The contract would have no legal standing and the employee should still be paid the proper NMW rate.
Where can I find out more information about National Minimum Wage?
You can find out more about the NMW legislation by visiting the Gov.uk website at www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage