Editor's message: The national minimum wage has been a key policy area for successive governments since its introduction in 1999, with the Conservative administration asking the Low Pay Commission to recommend rates so that they “are set as high as possible without damaging the employment prospects of each group".
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. For example, a salary-sacrifice arrangement might bring an employee's pay below the relevant national minimum wage rate. This remains a breach of the national minimum wage rules even though a special exemption from an underpayment penalty may apply.
The level of the minimum wage is reviewed each year, with uprating taking place on 1 April.
Clio Springer, senior employment law editor
Updated to include a wide range of articles, webinars and podcasts on how to manage situations, including furloughing, being caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Government should improve communications around how apprentices should be paid, after it emerged that as many as one in three in some age groups are underpaid - often because of confusion around which rate they should be on.
Updated to reflect changes to salaried hours work rules, effective from 6 April 2020.
We round up our key content on April employment law changes.
As the national living wage rate increases by more than 6%, the economic uncertainty posed by the coronavirus means the government could be forced to abandon its pledge to ensure the lowest-paid workers earn 60% of UK median earnings by 2024.
Updated to include the new rates of the national minimum wage that came into effect from April 2020.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to the national minimum wage.