13 May 2016
There was a substantial increase in reports of employers not paying National Minimum Wage in 2015-16, according to a new report from the National Audit Office.
Over the past 12 months, 58,000 workers were recorded as being owed money by their employers, more than doubling the 26,000 recorded in 2014-15.
The total debt owed to workers has more than tripled, with £10.3 million in arrears recorded in the last 12 months, compared with £3.3 million in 2014-15.
Since the National Minimum Wage was introduced in 1999, employers have failed to pay a total of £68 million to over 313,000 workers.
Non-compliance was a particular concern in the social care sector, where it is estimated 11% of workers do not receive the National Minimum Wage.
Meanwhile, workers are forced to wait an average of eight months for the HMRC to resolve their case.
Public Accounts Committee chairwoman Meg Hillier said: “Ultimately, the national minimum wage and the national living wage will only be effective if they are properly enforced and if employers are prevented from coming up with workarounds to exploit workers.”