Workers Fear The Sack If They Report Low Paying Employers

By Gary Smith


The Low Pay Commission has reported that workers fear the loss of their job or even workplace violence if they report employers for failing to pay the national minimum wage. The report details how employers have instilled fear in their workers through intimidation and harassment. Workers also fear that their P45 could be withheld or secretly ‘marked’ such that they would never be able to work again.

The report explained that the process for reporting abuses does not currently work for the most vulnerable low-paid workers. The Commission recommends HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) address this issue by making changes to the reporting process.

Anyone can report an employer to HMRC for not paying the minimum wage and the initial report can be anonymous. The employer can face a fine of up to £20,000 per worker and can be named publicly and banned from being a company director for up to 15 years. Furthermore anyone subsequently dismissed or treated less favourably can bring a claim at the Employment Tribunal to recover their lost earnings arising from the dismissal but also from the non-payment.

The current National Minimum Wage rates are;

  • National Living Wage for over-23s: From £8.91 to £9.50 an hour
  • National Minimum Wage for those aged 21-22: From £8.36 to £9.18
  • National Minimum Wage for 18 to 20-year-olds: From £6.56 to £6.83
  • National Minimum Wage for under-18s: From £4.62 to £4.81
  • The Apprentice Rate: From £4.30 to £4.81

If you have any queries relating to your pay please speak with our Employment Team on 0345 646 0406 or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our Team will be in touch.