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Higher NMW penalties come into force March 7

From 7 March 2014, employers will be facing stiffer penalties for failing to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage (NMW).

New penalties

The penalty will rise to a maximum of £20,000, up from a maximum of £5,000. This could represent up to 100 per cent of the wages in arrears, which the employer must also pay back, up from 50 per cent.

The Government also announced it will be seeking to legislate further, so that employers could be penalised up to £20,000 for every individual worker they have underpaid - rather than the maximum fine applying to each employer.

In the most serious cases employers can also face criminal prosecution.

Naming

Last October, stricter rules were also introduced making it easier to name publicly employers who break the law. Five such employers have recently been named under the scheme, among the first to be investigated since the revised scheme came into effect.

Acas publications and services

Acas gives detailed advice on the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage and can help organisations find practical solutions to related issues. For details, see Pay and reward: how Acas can help.

If you are unsure of your obligations concerning the NMW, call an expert Acas adviser for free, confidential advice on 0300 123 1100.

Visit the Acas Training and Business Solutions area for more information.


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