UKHospitality seeks balance and clarity from Government on Minimum Wage
UKHospitality has welcomed Government measures to introduce more flexibility to the National Minimum Wage regulations but, has warned that guidance to industry must be clearer to ensure businesses remain compliant.
UKHospitality has responded to the Government’s consultation on salaried workers and salary sacrifice schemes expressing support for the regulations but outlining the need for business support.
The submission identified examples where businesses had unwittingly been non-compliant due to lack of clarity in the regulations.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “We are fully supportive of National Minimum Wage regulations and efforts to ensure that hardworking team members are rewarded fairly for their work by all employers. Any businesses paying below the minimum wage rates should be punished and we fully support the recent crackdown on genuine underpayment.
“There does, however, need to be additional clarity and flexibility around the regulations. We have some significant concerns about the current interpretation and clarity of the regulations and worry that some businesses believe they are complying when they are not.
“Recently, we have seen some of our members punished because HMRC compliance officers appear to be making up the rules as they go along. Businesses have ensured that they comply with the rules and then the goalposts move again. This makes it increasingly difficult for businesses to keep on top of the constantly-changing rules and they find themselves being caught out despite their best efforts.
“The Government needs to work with industry to provide enhanced guidance as soon as possible to ensure the rules are clear and businesses aren’t tripped up by random interpretation.
“Arrangements such as voluntary sacrifice schemes are a benefit that employers offer, but the current rules around them have led to businesses withdrawing policies that benefit employees – this cannot be right.
“The Government’s proposals are a welcome step to ensuring that businesses can continue to support their employees without inadvertently falling foul of rules. The proposed changes around payment frequency for salaried workers to better reflect the needs of both businesses and employees is also positive news.”