HMRC’s enforcement teams successfully recovered £15.6m for some 200,000 workers not paid the national minimum wage in the year to April. These figures compare with recoveries in the previous year of £10.9m for 98,000 workers.
HMRC launched its online complaints service in January 2017, and this has contributed to the 132% increase in the number of complaints received over the last year and the amount of money HMRC has been able to recoup for those unfairly underpaid.
The figures are published as the government launches its annual advertising campaign designed to encourage workers to take action if they are not receiving the National Living Wage or the National Minimum Wage. The online campaign, which runs over the summer, urges underpaid workers to proactively complain by completing an HMRC online form.
This online service is a quick and easy way for anyone with concerns about not being paid the National Minimum Wage to report an employer or former employer anonymously.
Industries most complained about to HMRC include restaurants, bars, hotels and hairdressing.
Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said: “Employers abusing the system and paying under the legal minimum are breaking the law. Short changing workers is a red line for this government and employers who cross the line will be identified by HMRC and forced to pay back every penny, and could be hit with fines of up to 200% of wages owed.”