Almost everyone who works, regardless of the job they do or the number of hours they work, have certain legal rights when it comes to pay.
If you fail to pay your employees correctly you are at risk of them bringing a legal claim against the business, which could be extremely costly and damaging to your business reputation.
The government operates a “naming and shaming” scheme whereby businesses who fail to pay the minimum or living wage have their business name, address and details of sums owing to their workers published in the public domain.
From the very beginning, the worker should be told what their rate of pay is, how it will be paid and the day or date it will be paid. The worker is also entitled to receive an itemised payslip either on or before their first pay day and for every pay period afterwards.
There is of course a national minimum wage and now a national living wage in the UK and as an employer you can choose to pay workers more than the minimum rate of pay, but cannot pay a worker less. A worker’s rates of pay should be set out in their employment contract and should be the same whether they work part-time or full-time hours so as to avoid discriminating against part-time workers.
The hourly rate for the minimum or living wage depends on the age of a worker and whether they are an apprentice.
A worker must be at least school leaving age to be entitled to receive the national minimum wage. Workers who are not entitled to the minimum wage are self-employed, voluntary, a member of the armed forces, a prisoner, workers living in their employers family home and not contributing to costs or meals, or trainees on some government schemes. The minimum wage is updated every October and details of the current rates can be found at www.gov.uk.
The living wage must be paid to workers who meet the criteria set out above for minimum wage, but whom are aged 25 or over. The living wage is updated every April and details of the current rates can be found at www.gov.uk.
Full-time workers are entitled to 28 days paid holiday, including bank holidays. Holiday pay should be paid at the same rate as the worker’s normal weekly pay. If a worker’s pay varies from week to week, holiday pay should be calculated as an average over the past 12 weeks.
How we can help
We have a team of highly experienced employment law specialists on hand to provide advice on all aspects of pay issues, or to assist with dealing with any specific situation that may arise.
If you would like more information or just want a confidential, no obligation chat about your options, contact our highly experienced team today.