Check your P60

Minimum wage? Working for Free? Check your pay packet!

Figures from HMRC for the 2013/14 tax, indicate that 22,000 workers received 'wage arrears' totalling around £4.6 million following investigations by the HMRC National Minimum Wage Teams. That averages out at £205 per worker. 1,455 investigations were conducted, with 652 financial penalties issued, totalling £815,269. 47% of cases were found to have arrears.

Business Minister Jenny Willott said "We want to issue a clear warning to employers who fail to pay the minimum wage: under the Government's new rules you will be named and shamed and face a stiff financial penalty".

Jennie Granger, Director of Enforcement and Compliance at HMRC, said "Paying the National Minimum Wage is not a choice - it's the law. HMRC will continue to ensure that workers get at least the wage to which they are legally entitled.

The minimum wage for the UK is set out below (courtesy HMRC). This is effective from 01st October 2013, though may change on 01st October 2014. It is illegal for your employer to pay you less than this.

Category of workerHourly rate from 1 Oct 2013
Aged 21 and above£6.31
Aged 18 to 20 inclusive£5.03
Aged under 18 (but above compulsory school leaving age)£3.72
Apprentices aged under 19£2.68
Apprentices aged 19 and over, but in the first year of their apprenticeship£2.68

You may want to check your pay slip to ensure that your hourly rate is at least the minimum rate for your particular circumstances. Check what deductions have been made. Some items can affect your 'hourly rate' and bring it to below the minimum wage bracket. Things like:

  • Employer not paying you travelling time, if it's part of your job requirement
  • deductions for uniforms
  • Attending work before and after 'required hours'.

If you are recorded as an unpaid intern, your 'employer' may still have some financial responsibility towards you. If you are working for free or for "expenses only" contact the Pay and Work Rights Helpline. Calls are being fast-tracked to HMRC enforcement officers for investigation.

If you believe that you are not being paid the National Minimum Wage, you can call the Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368.

Want to know more about P60s? Read a more detail guide to your P60