National Minimum Wage: HMRC to educate the hair and beauty industry

30th July 2015 | News

As part of the new National Minimum Wage (NMW) campaign, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is partnering with the National Hairdressers’ Federation and the Hair and Beauty Industry Authority to help employers understand their pay obligations to staff.

HMRC will provide employers with tailored tools and guidance to ensure they are paying the right wage to their employees – and put it right where they are not.

Those employers who use the campaign to self-correct where they are under-paying staff will not face HMRC penalties – nor will they be ‘named and shamed’. However, those who choose not to comply with their new NMW obligations will be required to pay employees exactly what they are owed and even face a fine of up to £20,000 per employee.

HMRC identified a pot of £3.2m in NMW arrears involving over 26,000 staff across a range of sectors in the 2014-15 financial year alone.

The Government is committed to ensuring every employee receives the basic NMW and HMRC is helping workers to recover any money owed to them.

Analysis from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) shows that more than two-fifths (42 per cent) of businesses in the hair and beauty sector do not pay level 2 and level 3 apprentices the correct minimum wage – the highest rate of underpayment in any sector.

Jennie Granger, director general of enforcement and compliance, HMRC, said: “This innovative campaign is about helping employees who have been underpaid get the money they are legally due back into their pockets.

“It will help them understand where they can report underpaying employers confidentially.

“It is also about helping employers check if they are making mistakes, and self-correct if they are.

“Some employers will need a bit of a reminder to check they are getting it right, and some will need stronger action from us, so we are bringing in more enforcement officers to support this campaign.

“I urge all employers and employees in the sector to check that salary is being paid correctly, as we will use these extra resources to find and investigate where it is not. Check you’re paying NMW correctly – it’s worth it.”

Employers in the health and beauty sector unsure of the new NMW rules can call the Acas helpline to find out more on 0300 123 1100.

Alternatively, visit HMRC’s NMW campaign webpage for help and support.

Image: Barney Moss