People aged under eighteen or in an apprenticeship are more likely to be paid under the National Minimum Wage employment law specialists, Lupton Fawcett Denision Till has found.

The National Minimum Wage for under 18s is currently £3.79 and £2.73 for apprentices. Despite it being a legal requirement to pay employees the National Minimum Wage, businesses of various sizes are admitting to not paying their staff correctly. 23 out of 500 businesses (4.6 percent) admit to underpaying staff who are 18 and under, and 20 out of 500 (4 percent) admit to not paying apprentices correctly.

Employment law specialist Louise Connacher, from Lupton Fawcett Denison Till’s employment department, says:

“It’s surprising that all employers aren’t paying National Minimum Wage to those under 18 and those on apprenticeships, particularly when some admit that they are not happy about paying staff fairly. Paying employees a minimum wage is a requirement of UK law and those found not adhering to legislation can face hefty fines.”

Attitudes towards Minimum Wage to all age groups highlighted among employers that 50 percent pay employees correctly because it is the law and 51 percent do so because they think it is fair.

Out of the respondents 10 percent of companies said they pay employees the national minimum because they have to but do not like doing it. While 17 percent say the minimum is all they can afford, but would like to pay more.

Fines for breaching the law on National Minimum Wage can reach up to £20,000, but not all companies are aware that these fines can be imposed. Almost 74 percent of are either unaware there is a penalty or don’t know how much it is.

Louise Connacher continues:

“For companies to admit they don’t adhere to UK law and not understand the penalties they can face is disturbing. A maximum penalty of £20,000 can have a significant impact on a business’s finances, so it’s important employers ensure they are paying all staff the National Minimum Wage at the very least”.

“If staff have concerns about their pay, it is vital that they feel comfortable to discuss matters with their managers. Senior staff can ensure this happens by making it clear they have time to discuss issues and spend time explaining wage guidelines and rights to all members of staff.”