The national minimum wage (NMW) rates rise on 1 April 2018. Are you certain you know what pay rise you must give to employees and whether the directors should be included in those calculations?
The five NMW rates depend on each employee’s age and whether they are on an approved apprenticeship scheme. The top rate for those aged 25 and over will rise from £7.50 to £7.83, up 4.4%.
Most directors of their own companies do not have to pay themselves the NMW. This is the case where the director does not have a contract of employment with the company and is effectively paid only for their role as an office holder.
Where the director does have an employment contract with the company, they will be treated as an employee for NMW purposes and the NMW should be paid for all the hours they work.
In a company which has a number of employees, good employment practice would be to require everyone to abide by the terms and conditions set out in the employment handbook and to sign a declaration on that basis. Where the handbook sets out all the conditions, rights, responsibilities and duties of both employer and employee, the declaration will amount to an employment contract, so directors who sign it will have an employment contract.
And there are penalties for not paying at least the required wage
If the company comes under scrutiny for NMW, HMRC will want to examine the calculation of pay for everyone on the payroll, including directors. The penalty for failing to pay the correct amount can be up to £20,000 per employee. The business will be included on the name and shame list of employers where the total underpayment of NMW is £100 or more, across the whole payroll.
This can all be avoided with care.
Let’s talk about the implications for your business.
Contact us straight away by telephoning 01932 564098 or email us using our ‘Contact Us’ page.
This note was published from our Spring 2018 Newsletter dated March 2018. Please be aware that the information above may have changed in subsequent months.
This note is written for the general interest of our clients and is not a substitute for consulting the relevant legislation or for taking professional advice.