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Blog  »  April 2014  »  Worst excuses for not paying the minimum wage! - Blog
Apr 14

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Worst excuses for not paying the minimum wage!

This year is marks the 15th anniversary of National Minimum Wage in the UK. To coincide with the anniversary, HMRC have released a list of some of the most unusual excuses given by employers about why they don’t pay their employees the legal wage. Reasons include:

• “I don’t think my workers know anything about the NMW because they don’t speak English.”
• “When the NMW goes up I do increase the amount I pay a little, even if the total pay is still below the NMW. I don’t think it’s right to ignore the rises in NMW.”
• “It wasn’t a conscious decision to say ‘I’m not going to pay this’, but I’ve never really considered doing it because I’ve not had people come to me and say, ‘I’m not getting paid enough’, or ‘Is this the minimum wage?’”
• An employee ran out of the premises when HMRC officers arrived to check for NMQ infringements. The same employee then returned, minus the work pinafore, pretending to be a customer.
• One employee claimed to be a friend of the owner and only in the restaurant as they were in the area. HMRC offices returned on a different day to find the person in the kitchen preparing food.

NERA have responsibility for carrying out workplace inspections and investigating possible infringements in Irish workplaces. Whilst the above excuses are from British employers, Irish employers are not all innocent either. For the period January 2013 to June 2013 €420,941 in unpaid wages was recovered from Irish employers, for the same period in 2012 €426,818 was recovered.

Minimum wage in Ireland for experienced adults is €8.65. An experienced adult is any individual over 18 with 2 years work experience of any kind.

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