30th August 2021

The dog ate my homework!

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Regular readers of my blog will know by now that I’m a big fan of the principles of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and deliberately underpaying the NMW in order to short-change workers is something I abhor, especially when some employers don’t take the matter as seriously as they should.  But sometimes we all need a little light relief, and this was provided by HMRC recently when they released a list of some of the most absurd excuses used for not paying the legal minimum.

I just hope that none of these ridiculous excuses sound familiar to you!

  1.  “She does not deserve the National Minimum Wage because she only makes the teas and sweeps the floors.”
  2. “The employee was not a good worker, so I did not think they deserved to be paid the National Minimum Wage.”
  3. “My accountant and I speak a different language – he does not understand me, and that is why he does not pay my workers the correct wages.”
  4. “My employee is still learning so they are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage.”
  5. “It is part of UK culture not to pay young workers for the first three months as they have to prove their ‘worth’ first.”
  6. “The National Minimum Wage does not apply to my business.”
  7. “I have got an agreement with my workers that I will not pay them the National Minimum Wage; they understand, and they even signed a contract to this effect.”
  8. “I thought it was okay to pay young workers below the National Minimum Wage as they are not British and therefore do not have the right to be paid it.”
  9. “My workers like to think of themselves as being self-employed and the National Minimum Wage does not apply to people who work for themselves.”
  10. “My workers are often just on standby when there are no customers in the shop; I only pay them for when they are actually serving someone.”

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