April 2016 sees the Living Wage becoming law. So if you are working and aged 25 over and you are not in the first year of an apprenticeship you as an employee will be entitled to at lease £7.20 per hour. This is an increase of 50p. The Government is then committed to increase the living wage every year, so that when year 2020 arrives the living wage at 25 years of age will be more than £9.00 per hour.
Employers will need to make sure that staff are being paid correctly from 1st April 2016 and this will be enforced as per the current national minimum wage.
To find out if you are eligible for the national minimum wage increase you can use the calculator on the Gov.uk website. You can find the link here. Once you looked at this the rest will be up to your employer to increase your hourly rate and this should automatically be shown in your salary from April. If there is no change within your salary if you expect it to change you will need to discuss this with your employer.
For employers, you need to check to see which of your employees are eligible for the increase to bring them inline with the new laws. You can check the details here and then you will need to take the necessary payroll action. If you need guidance on how to do this HMRC have tutorials available or if you are a member of The Forum you can contact the member help line on 01565 626 001.
Inform the staff that they have a new pay scale, and you will also have to check the employees under 25 years of age are also earning the right national minimum wage.
For more details about the national minimum wage for employers take a look at the Gov.uk website. It is a criminal offence for an employer not to paying and employee the national minimum wage or to falsify payment records. At any time HMRC officers have the right to carry out and inspection and ask to see payment records. Complaints can also be made by employers of which HMRC will also carry out their investigations.
If HMRC finds an employer that is not paying an employee correctly, any arrears will need to be paid immediately, along with a fine charge and a possible name and shame via the Government.
Start today to make sure you as an employee are being paid correctly or as an employer you are paying your staff correctly.