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Minimum wages - Reputation and enforcement

Who should attend

HR professionals and in-house lawyers with responsibility for employment policy.

Synopsis

Employers with business models based on paying the minimum wage can struggle to understand the complex, often ambiguous, Regulations.

More higher-wage employers, including those in the public sector, are also coming into scope as the national living wage continues to rise and they may not appreciate how their established payroll practices make them vulnerable to inadvertent, technical breaches. The HMRC is better resourced, and its growing inspectorate is under pressure to show results and so household-name, best-practice employers are finding themselves being ‘named and shamed’ and subject to multi-million pound liability.

The new Director of Labour Market Enforcement will announce his first strategy in Spring 2018 and wages will play a key part. Because those who run their own business are not entitled to the minimum wage, this encourages some companies and individuals to use bogus arrangements. As a result, all employers face increasing scrutiny of their use of labour, including sub-contractors. This briefing covers developing policy and case-law, media stories and increased enforcement action.

Programme

09.00 registration and coffee, 09.30 start

Your reputation as an employer

  • the court of public opinion
  • name and shame and criminal offences
  • broadening scope of minimum wage; are you prepared?

Minimum wages – key concepts

  • who qualifies, including home-workers, interns, agency workers and the self-employed
  • five rates: who gets what, including apprentices
  • the basic calculation: amounts (treated as) paid divided by hours (treated as) worked
  • types of work: salaried, time, output, unmeasured

Some problem areas

  • pay averaging, annualised hours and time off in lieu: salaried hours or time worker?
  • what constitutes ‘work’ and ‘working hours’: travel, sleep, waiting, security checks, piece-work
  • what pay is included: overtime, shift premiums, allowances, benefits, salary sacrifice?
  • risk of detriment claims
  • deductions and payments that reduce pay and those that do not: work-wear and equipment, leavers, purchases from employer

Inspection, enforcement, punishment

  • HMRC powers, their interpretation of the Regulations and their obligation to BEIS
  • enforcement by the worker
  • record keeping, worker and HMRC access, and the burden of proof
  • small mistakes become big problems: arrears recalculated at today’s rate; fines at 200%
  • Labour Market Enforcement Strategy 2018

Reviewing your employment model

  • workers, home workers and agency workers
    time incurred v output achieved
  • T&Cs, pay, benefits and pensions
  • beware of age discrimination
  • Taylor Review update

13.00 close, followed by lunch

Download the full Minimum wages programme.

Speakers

Dr Duncan Brown
Head of HR Consultancy
Duncan began his career in HR before specialising in reward. He is working on employee financial wellbeing with the CIPD; gender pay reporting; and the implications of the gig economy for BEIS. He was Assistant Director General at the CIPD for five years.

Samantha Mann
Senior Policy & Research Officer
Sam has over 30 years of experience of payroll and serving employers. She works with an increasing number of Government branches such as HMRC, DWP, BEIS, HMCTS plus the Low Pay Commission and Pensions Regulator.

Simon Rice-Birchall
Partner, Employment Law
Simon is supporting clients where HMRC are focusing on complex aspects of the Regulations to investigate allegations of non-compliance.

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