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Wagamama and the Minimum Wage mess
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Wagamama and TGI Friday topped the government’s list of shame last week, with several football clubs (Stoke City and Birmingham) also caught out. This round of naming and fining was due to unpaid uniform costs. Wagamama failed to pay for the black jeans its staff are asked to wear to work, and as a consequence, they’ve had to pay back an average of £50 to 2,630 employees.  

Today, the government has named and shamed nearly 180 employers for underpaying more than 9,000 minimum wage workers by £1.1 million. The same companies have been fined an additional £1.3 million for their mistakes. To see the list click here >>

Wagamama blamed “an inadvertent misunderstanding” of their uniform policies for the error, which highlights the importance of having carefully worded policies, and ensuring those policies are fully understood by staff, (if you need help with your policies please call us on 0333 444 0165). 

Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said: 

“The world of work is changing, and we have set out our plans to give millions of workers enhanced rights to ensure everyone is paid and treated fairly in the workplace. There are no excuses for short-changing workers. This is an absolute red line for this government and employers who cross it will get caught – not only are they forced to pay back every penny, but they are also fined up to 200% of wages owed.” 


In the tax year ending in April 2017, HMRC investigated 2,600 organisations and found that 98,000 workers had been underpaid to the tune of £10.9 million. The number of complaints more than doubled between April 2016 to April 2017, showing that workers are becoming far more aware of their rights.  

This round of naming and shaming is a timely reminder for employers to know and prepare for the rises this year. 


National Wage rates and rises for April 2018 


All workers and employees are entitled to be paid the National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage, at the appropriate rate, dependant on age. Apprentices who are under 19, or over 19 and in the first year of their apprenticeship, are paid at an apprentice rate. To check that you’re paying the appropriate rate you need to calculate an average hourly rate. The new rates taking effect in April 2018 are as follows: 


living wage and minimum wage rises


Is anyone exempt from The National Minimum Wage? 


Most workers are entitled to at least the National Minimum Wage including home-workers, agency workers, people who work on commission, part-time workers and casual workers. The only exempt groups are as follows: 

[tick]Self-employed workers[/tick]
[tick]Voluntary workers[/tick]
[tick]Company directors [/tick]

[tick]Family members or family household members who undertake household tasks[/tick]

In most cases, the National Minimum Wage requirements are fairly straightforward. But, if you are at all unsure about what rates of pay to allocate to staff we recommend seeking professional help and checking the Gov.Uk website.  

Our qualified staff are always on hand to help and our software provides up to date legal information to make sure you’re always informed and compliant, give us a call on 0333 444 0165 or email help@citrushr.com or click here to have a free trial of our HR software. 

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