Editor's message: The national minimum wage has been a key policy area for successive governments since its introduction in 1999, with the current Conservative administration stating that rate increases form an important part of its agenda to create a "higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare society".
The national minimum wage is enforced through a combination of financial penalties for non-payment and a policy of "naming and shaming" - the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy publicises cases where employers have deliberately breached the national minimum wage laws.
Even if the rates that you pay appear to be significantly higher than the national minimum wage, you should still check that you are not inadvertently breaching the law. Be aware, for example, that a salary-sacrifice arrangement might bring an employee's pay below the relevant national minimum wage rate.
The level of the minimum wage is reviewed each year, with the new rates traditionally taking effect on 1 October. This year, the national minimum wage will be uprated from April instead.
Susie Munro, senior employment law editor
A year on from its introduction, our research investigates how employers have adapted to the introduction of the national living wage and how they are planning for the increases that are expected over the next four years.
The run-up to April is typically a busy time of year for HR professionals, with new employment legislation due to come into force. 2017 is no exception, with the most significant development being the introduction of the gender pay gap reporting duty for larger employers. However, there are a number of other key changes affecting all employers, regardless of their size.
Two-thirds (69%) of people earning less than £15,000 do not know they should be paid for travel between appointments, according to a Populus poll commissioned by the Government.
Department store Debenhams, sandwich chain Subway and clothing retailer Peacocks feature among 360 employers who have been named and shamed by the Government for not paying staff the national minimum wage.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has released 10 of the worst excuses for not paying the national minimum wage, as the Government launches a £1.7 million awareness campaign to help workers understand how much pay they are entitled to.
We discuss the key legislative developments affecting employers in 2017, including: gender pay gap reporting; the apprenticeship levy; public-sector exit payments and changes to statutory rates.
Significant employment law changes are anticipated for 2017, amid the ongoing uncertainty resulting from the Brexit referendum.
Updated to include the new rates of the national minimum wage in force from 1 April 2017.
Updated to include the new rates of the national minimum wage announced in the Autumn Statement 2016, effective from April 2017.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to the national minimum wage.