Ten Ridiculous Excuses For Not Paying Minimum Wage

Employment Law 15th February 2017

Sometimes, you read something online, and think that it can’t possibly be true. Sure, it might make for a funny or thought-provoking story, but you don’t actually think for one minute that it really happened. 

It’s there to prove a point, or start a conversation, or even just provide a little bit of light-hearted entertainment.

If you’ve already seen the list of the worst excuses that employers have made for not paying the minimum wage, then you’d be forgiven for thinking that SURELY, these aren’t things that real employers have said.

No one could possibly be that shortsighted, or irresponsible.

But the fact of the matter is that these are real excuses, collected by government-funded research, that bosses gave for breaking the law by paying their staff below the legislated amount. 

If you haven’t heard about them yet; here they are …

1. “She doesn’t deserve the national minimum wage because she only makes the
tea and sweeps the floor.”

2. “The national minimum wage doesn’t apply to my business.”

3. “My employee is still learning so they aren’t entitled to the national minimum wage.”

4. “My accountant and I speak a different language – he doesn’t understand me and that’s why he doesn’t pay my workers the correct wages.”

5. “I thought it was okay to pay foreign workers below the national minimum wage as they aren’t British and therefore don’t have the right to be paid it.”

6. “It’s part of UK culture not to pay young workers for the first three months as they have to prove their ‘worth’ first.”

7. “The employee wasn’t a good worker so I didn’t think they deserved to be paid the national minimum wage.”

8. “I’ve got an agreement with my workers that I won’t pay them the national minimum wage; they understand and they even signed a contract to this effect.”

9. “My workers like to think of themselves as being self-employed and the national minimum wage doesn’t apply to people who work for themselves.”

10. “My workers are often just on standby when there are no customers in the shop; I only pay them for when they’re actually serving someone.”

We could provide commentary on WHY these excuses are completely and utterly unacceptable … But some things speak for themselves!

It doesn’t matter who you are, what your accounting arrangements are, whether or not your workers are performing at the desired level, or anything else that you think might be relevant to this conversation. The fact remains that if you aren’t paying minimum wage, you’re breaking the law. And the consequences for your business could be dire. 

From 1 April 2017, the national living wage rate for employees aged 25 years and over increases to £7.50 per hour. For the national minimum wage, the rate for 21- to 24-year-olds will increase to £7.05 per hour.

If you’re not compliant? Then something needs to change fast!

We understand that dealing with complex employment law can be complicated, and that’s why we’re here to help. 

If you’re unsure about where you stand and what you need to do to keep your business on the straight and narrow, fill in the Contact Form here or call us on 01604 763494 today to arrange your no-obligation discussion.

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