The following changes to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates came into effect on 1 October 2015:
The accommodation offset increased from £5.08 to £5.35 per day.
The new National Living Wage (NLW), announced in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s July Budget, is due to come into force in April 2016. It will apply to workers aged 25 and over and will be paid at an initial rate of £7.20 per hour.
On 1 September 2015, the Government announced that the penalty for non-payment of the NMW or the NLW will be doubled to 200 per cent of the arrears. This will be halved if the employer pays the penalty within 14 days. The overall maximum penalty of £20,000 per worker remains unchanged.
In addition, a new team of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) compliance officers will be set up to investigate the most serious cases of non-payment of the NMW, and the NLW when it is introduced, and take forward criminal prosecutions for deliberate non-compliance with the law. Any employer found guilty will be considered for disqualification from being a company director for up to 15 years. HMRC’s enforcement budget will be increased in 2016/2017 and future budgets will be agreed as part of the Spending Review process.