There can't be many employers who aren't aware of the living wage rate which comes into effect from 1st April 2016. Increasing the minimum wage for employees aged 25 and over from £6.70 per hour to £7.20 per hour this will be a significant cost for some employers especially in businesses such as retail, hospitality, child care and care in the home for the elderly and disabled.
Not only will this be an additional cost to the wages bill, it is likely to push employees into a level of pay where the employer will have to contribute to the workplace pension scheme.
Paying the minimum wage is a legal requirement for employers and HMRC have recently named and shamed 92 companies who did not pay the minimum wage. These companies were in various sectors including hairdressing, social care, hospitality and security. Whilst some of the businesses underpaid their employees quite substantially, 14 underpaid by less than £200 to between one and five employees showing that HMRC are not lenient even if you have only underpaid by a small amount.