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National Minimum Wage compliance in the social care sector

HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) recently published a UK wide evaluation of National Minimum Wage (NMW) enforcement in the social care sector for the period 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2013. Whilst we are confident that no Scottish voluntary sector provider would knowingly fall foul of the minimum wage legislation, we thought it worth flagging up the key reasons the report found for non-compliance.

The most common reason for non-compliance related to deductions from workers’ pay, and payments by the worker for items deemed to be a business expenses (i.e. purchased for the employers benefit and used in their business). Such deductions and payments brought workers pay below NMW rates. Other issues identified as causing underpayment of the national minimum wage to workers included:

(a) In domiciliary care

  • unpaid training time;
  • unpaid travelling time between appointments;
  • hourly pay rate below NMW rate; and
  • incorrect use of apprentice rates.

(b) In residential care

  • a failure to pay workers for all working time;
  • unpaid training time;
  • hourly pay rate below NMW rate;
  • a lack or awareness of the accommodation offset rules and their effect on 
NMW pay calculations; and
  • incorrect use of apprentice rates.

The full report can be accessed by following this link to the Gov.UK website.

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