April 2022

On the 1st of April 2022, new rates of the National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) came into force based on recommendations by the Low Pay Commission (LPC) in October 2021. The increase is welcomed by many in a cost-of-living crisis; with prices of fuel, energy and more increasing, many are struggling to choose between heating their home or having food to eat.

The hike in the minimum wage comes after PM Boris Johnson promised a “high wage, high skill, high productivity economy that the people of this country need and deserve”.

What is the new minimum wage?

The new rates are listed below:

  • National Living Wage – £9.50
  • 21–22-Year-old rate – £9.18
  • 18–20-Year-old rate – £6.83
  • 16–17-Year-old rate – £4.81
  • Apprentice rate – £4.81
  • Accommodation Offset – £8.70.

The raise will put an extra £1000, on average, into a full-time worker’s pay packet. Although this does sound somewhat considerable, the rise in the cost of living has brought a hike of 7% in prices.

Between October and December 2021, the average weekly pay across Britain dropped by -1.2%, further highlighting the need for an increase in the minimum wage.

What happens if I am getting paid less than minimum wage?

For those over 22, most people who work are entitled to get paid at least the National Minimum Wage. Contrary to popular belief, this includes casual workers, those on zero hours contracts and agency workers.

If you are not getting the minimum wage when you should be, your employer owes you the difference between what you should have been paid and what they have been paying you.

What can I do if I am getting paid less than minimum wage?

The best thing to do initially is to have an informal chat with your employer. Ask them to explain how they have worked out your pay and why they think it is the correct amount.

Even without raising a formal grievance, it is possible to report your employer to HMRC. They may or may not decide to investigate your employer. This is more likely to happen if more than one employee has complained.

If you do not get anywhere, there are some steps you can take:

  1. Call the Acas Helpline.

The Acas Helpline can help you confirm whether or not you are entitled to the minimum wage.

  1. Raise a formal issue.

Most employers have a formal grievance procedure. Be sure to raise a grievance, explain why you don’t think you have been paid enough and ask them to pay the difference.

  1. Fill in the early conciliation form.

You will need to fill in the early conciliation form from Acas. This means that they will check if your employer will agree to a process called ‘early conciliation’. If they agree, you will not have to take them to a tribunal.

  1. Take your employer to a tribunal.

This should be your last resort. Taking your employer to a tribunal can be stressful and expensive since you must instruct a solicitor for legal representation. Always consider the potential implications before proceeding.

From the day of the most recent underpayment, you have three months minus one day to submit a claim to an employment tribunal. You must have already notified Acas, gone through early conciliation and got an early conciliation certificate.

Contact the Beverley Morris & Co. employment team today if you believe you need to take your employer to a tribunal.

  1. Take your employer to court.

As mentioned above, there is a time limit within which you have to take your employer to a tribunal. If you miss this deadline but still believe you are entitled to your money, you can take your employer to court. As with a tribunal, this can be very stressful and expensive.

Employment Law Solicitors Blackheath

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for more information about how Beverley Morris & Co. employment solicitors can support you.

To contact us today, please call 020 8852 4433 or email enquiries@beverleymorris.co.uk, and we will get back to you.