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Top Ten Excuses For Not Paying
Minimum Wage

August 22 2006 - HM Revenue & Customs has published the top ten excuses used by employers to avoid paying the National Minimum Wage. These excuses were to its 16 minimum wage enforcement teams around the UK. The enforcement teams identified nearly £3.3 million in underpaid salaries, across the UK between August 2005 and July 2006.

The top ten unusual or outlandish excuses for not paying the minimum wage were:

  1. He doesn't deserve it - he's a total waste of space
  2. But she only wanted £3 an hour
  3. I didn't think the workers were worth NMW
  4. I didn't think it applied to small employers
  5. He's disabled
  6. They can't cope on their own and it's more than they would get in their own country
  7. She's on benefits - if you add those to her pay, it totals the NMW
  8. He's over 65, so the national minimum wage doesn't apply
  9. The workers can't speak English
  10. I only took him on as a favour

Commenting on the excuses, Paymaster General, Dawn Primarolo, said:

"By far the majority of employers are honest and scrupulous, so instances of non-payment are very much in the minority.

"But this list shows that there are still some rogue employers out there willing to flout the law, which is why our enforcement teams are hard at work across the UK to ensure that everyone is getting paid at least the National Minimum Wage.

"We are publishing this list of excuses today to remind employers and employees of their rights and responsibilities in relation to the National Minimum Wage."

Further advice for employers and employees is available at the: DTI website

See also:

  • National minimum wage increases
  • Call for National Minimimum Wage increase formula


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