Businesses must make minimum wage increases maximum priority

Changes to the national minimum wage will take effect from next week and West Yorkshire chartered accountancy firm Clough & Company is warning businesses to double-check their payroll systems are updated and that workers will be paid correctly.

Lesley Kendrew, partner at Clough & Company, said: “Employers who are found to have failed to pay workers the right amount, must pay their employees any arrears immediately.

If not, they could face a financial penalty and might be named by government.”

The rise will see a 19 pence increase for employees aged 21 and over from £6.31 to £6.50 an hour, which is the biggest cash increase in take home pay since 2008.

It is estimated the increase will benefit over one million workers currently on national minimum wage with people set to see their pay rise by as much as £355 a year from 1 October 2014.

Lesley added: “Businesses have known about these changes for a long time but like anything, the deadline can still creep up out of nowhere, so it’s essential that they have updated their payroll accordingly.

“All businesses with employees on minimum wage will be impacted but different rates will apply depending on the circumstances of the individual.

Factors such as the employee’s age, the provision of accommodation, travel time and uniform hire can all affect how much a worker is paid and must be taken into account.”

The rise which was recommended by the Low Pay Commission will see 18 to 20 year olds receive an hourly increase of 10 pence from £5.03 to £5.13.

A seven pence increase will be given to 16 to 17 year olds with pay rising from £3.72 to £3.79 per hour. Apprentices will also benefit from an increase of 5 pence taking them from £2.68 to £2.73 per hour.

Lesley added: “These increases are hopefully manageable for the majority of businesses that have prepared for the change, but there will always be some companies, regardless of size, that will be unprepared for their impact.”

Lesley Kendrew
Lesley Kendrew

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