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New alert: HMRC issues National Minimum Wage rate reminder for summer staff

Author: Atom Content Marketing

Published: 01 Aug 2021

Employers should check they are paying students and other summer workers in, for example, bars, hotels, shops and warehouses, at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW) following an HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) reminder that this is a legal requirement.

The reminder means many summer workers will be carefully checking their hourly rates to make sure they are being paid at least the NMW. The two most common circumstances when an employer (sometimes inadvertently) pays less than the hourly NMW rate is if they have made deductions from a worker’s pay, or when the worker is not being paid for some of the hours they work, and this pushes their hourly rate below the NMW.

The reminder emphasises that HMRC investigates every NMW complaint made to it, no matter how apparently minor.

The relevant hourly NMW rates are:

  • £8.91 – Age 23 or over (National Living Wage)
  • £8.36 – Age 21 to 22
  • £6.56 – Age 18 to 20
  • £4.62 – Age under 18
  • £4.30 – Apprentice

Employers found to have paid workers less than the NMW have to pay arrears, may be liable for a penalty of up to 200% of those arrears (subject to a cap of £10,000 per worker) and can be publicly named and shamed online.

Operative date

  • Now


  • Employers should check carefully that they are paying the NMW to students and other summer workers, especially if they make deductions, or do not pay workers for some of the hours they work.

This article from Atom Content Marketing is for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.

Copyright © Atom Content Marketing

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