TaxPersonal Tax16 JUNE 2000 – NEW CODES OF PRACTICE FOR ENFORCEMENT OF NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE

16 JUNE 2000 - NEW CODES OF PRACTICE FOR ENFORCEMENT OF NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE

Two new Codes of Practice committing the Inland Revenue to thorough and sympathetic enforcement of the national minimum wage have today been published by the Inland Revenue.

The codes, one for workers and one for employers, explain how the Inland Revenue will investigate the complaints of workers who believethey are not receiving the minimum wage and inspect the records of employers to ensure compliance with the minimum wage legislation.

The codes have been produced after consultation with representative and professional bodies, the TUC and Low Pay Units.

DETAILS

1. The national minimum wage came into force on 1.4.99and the Inland Revenue was appointed as the enforcement agency.

2. It is the responsibility of the Inland Revenue toinvestigate the complaints of workers who believe that theyare not receiving the minimum wage. The code (COP19) explainshow the Inland Revenue will handle workers’complaints and assures them that their complaint will be investigatedthoroughly and sympathetically.

3. The Inland Revenue is also responsible for enforcing the minimumwage by inspecting the records of employers to ensure compliance.The code (COP20) explains how the Inland Revenue will conducttheir enquiries, tells employers what they can expect to happenduring an enquiry and the standards they can expect from Inland Revenue officers.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

1. From 1st April 1999, when the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 became law, workers in the UK are legally entitled to be paid the following hourly rates of pay;

* #3.60 per hour for workers aged 22 and above

* #3.00 per hour for workers aged 18 to 21, and

* #3.20 per hour for workers aged 22 years and overwho are undertaking accredited training.

2. The rate for workers aged 18 to 21 was increased to #3.20 per hour from 1 June 2000. The rate for workers aged 22 and above will beincreased to #3.70 per hour from 1 October 2000.

3. To assist workers the Inland Revenue has set up a National Minimum Wage Helpline on 0845 6000 678 (local rate call). The role ofthe helpline is to advise workers of their rights in relation to the national minimum wage and to take details of employers who may not becomplying with the legislation whether through intent or not.

4. In the first year since the introduction of the national minimumwage Inland Revenue enforcement officers have obtained for workers payment of arrears of wages totalling #1.25 million and have also hadfavourable outcomes in the ten cases taken by us involving an Employment Tribunal hearing.

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