Do you want to be an employer of choice?
Any employer surely wants their business to be a success – how do you achieve that? There are many reasons why a business is successful but a massive part of that is to treat your staff fairly. If you do that then, often, they will work for hard for you and improve your business.
Richard Branson has famously been quoted as saying ‘By putting the employee first, the customer effectively comes first by default, and in the end, the shareholder comes first by default as well.’
And who can argue with Richard Branson!
There are many ways of putting your employees first: giving benefits, extra time off, spa days amongst other things but what is the most basic way of putting them first?
Paying them fairly.
The Low Pay Commission (LPC) was established as an independent body as a result of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 to advise the Government on the National Minimum Wage. When it was first introduced in April 1999, the rate of the NMW was £3.60 per hour (£3.00 for 18 to 21-year-olds).
Since then the NMW has gone up year on year, more recently in 2016 the National Living Wage has been introduced.
Which companies have been named and shamed?
Every year The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy publishes a list of all of the company’s who have failed to pay their employees the National Minimum or Living wage. This year is the longest list so far.
There were more than 350 businesses that had underpaid their staff. The worst offenders were the hairdressing, hospitality and retail sectors.
Whilst the record list may be explained by the fact that this is the first year to also include National Living Wage statistics it is surely still shocking that there are this many employers underpaying their staff.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that the worst offender is a large national retailer – one would assume that the bigger companies would be whiter than white when it comes to the legal requirements around pay. Clearly not, this goes to show how easy it is to get caught out. Two of the names you might recognise are Debenhams and Subway.
How do you protect yourself and avoid government penalties and potential Tribunal claims?
Do a check of all your employees to ensure that if your employees are hourly paid their wage reflects the National Minimum or Living Wages as a minimum.
As of April 2017 the requirements are as follows:
25 and over: £7.50
21 to 24: £7.05
18 to 20: £5.60
Under 18: £4.05
If you are still unsure as to whether you are still at risk then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We can help you to identify whether you are adhering to current regulations and put in place legally compliant contracts and systems to minimise the risk to your business.
We will agree a fixed cost for this work with you, depending on how much we need to do. In some cases we can offer you free guidance. For our Watertight HR & Legal clients some of this work may be included in your fees so please ask. If you are not a Watertight client and would like a quote contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0114 3032300.