20% of young workers paid less than the NMW

As many as 20% of workers aged between 18 and 30 are illegally paid less than the National Minimum Wage (NMW). A recent survey of 4000 young people has found that 20% of young women and 16% of young men claim to have been paid less than their legal entitlement.
Young Londoners were the most likely to say they had been paid less than the minimum wage at 24% and those in the East Midlands were the least likely at 12%.

There has been a call on the Government to crack down on employers who are not complying with the law and it is suggested that it should extend the National Living Wage to under-25s, who can currently be paid less for doing the same work as slightly older colleagues.

With HMRC statistics showing an increased number of investigations into NMW payments and fines levied against errant organisations, employers really need to review their pay practices to ensure they comply with the law on minimum payments to staff.

As well as deliberately paying staff below the statutory rate, employers could be breaking NMW law with dress codes that require low-paid staff to purchase specific items which, when you deduct the cost, takes their salary below the national minimum. As itemised pay statements will become mandatory for all workers in April this year, there is a further incentive to pay staff correctly as many individuals stand to gain a greater understanding of how exactly their salary is calculated.

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