Rogue employers who do not pay their workers the National Minimum Wage (NMW) will face an increased penalty of up to £20,000 as part of the Government’s crackdown on employers who break the law. Currently employers that break NMW law must pay the unpaid wages plus a financial penalty calculated as 50% of the total underpayment for all workers found to be underpaid. The maximum penalty an employer can face is £5,000. The Government has announced that it will increase the financial penalty percentage from 50% to 100% of the unpaid wages owed to workers. The maximum penalty will increase from £5,000 to £20,000. Regulations introducing these new limits are subject to Parliamentary approval and are expected to be in force in February 2014. The Government also wants to go further and will bring in legislation at the earliest opportunity so that the maximum £20,000 penalty can apply to each underpaid worker.
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