HMRC publish a fact sheet to advise employers how they police the NMW
Failures in this area can result in Criminal action by HM Revenue and Customs so here’s from extracts their own advice to keep you on the right track
The NMW and the National Living Wage are the minimum legal amount that employers must pay their workers. You are responsible for making sure that your workers are paid at least the appropriate rate of NMW or NLW . You must also keep sufficient records to prove that you have done this.
We are responsible for making sure that employers pay their workers at least the NMW or the NLW. We do this on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
We carry out checks on employers and talk to workers to make sure that all workers are paid what they are legally due. We choose which employers to check based on our own research, or where we have received a complaint that an employer is paying one or more of their workers below the NMW or the NLW.
Our visits and requests for information
We are allowed to ask for:
- any information we think will show whether workers are being paid at least
the NMW or the NLW
- explanations of anything contained within records
- any additional information we need to determine whether the NMW or the NLW
has been paid
We are also allowed to visit you to get the information we need and we may need
to visit you more than once. We will try to make an appointment at a time that is convenient to you. We do not have to tell an employer why we are checking their records or give them details of the information we have received. The law that covers what we do is the National Minimum Wage Act 1998.
What happens during a visit
We will need to speak to you about the work patterns of your workers, the arrangements you have in place for calculating their pay and to speak to the person responsible for calculating pay, if this is not you.
We will also need to see records that show how much your workers are paid and may need to take copies of some records. It will save time if you have these ready when we visit. If we think there are ways that you should improve your record keeping we will tell you.
We may have to do more research or ask you, or your workers, for more information before we can decide whether you have paid them at least NMW rates.
At the end of our check
We will let you know when we have completed our visits and check. We will also write to you to confirm any advice given to you about changes to your record keeping.
If we have found that you have paid any of your workers below the NMW or NLW,
we will let you know if you owe any arrears of pay to those workers.
Need help handling a visit by the inspectorate or guidance on NMW issues call Lindsay who has experience of how to deal with assessments or how to mitigate the amounts due which will include potentially high penalty charges