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Martin Lewis Warns That Thousands Of Employees Could Be Being Underpaid

Dominic Smithers

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Martin Lewis Warns That Thousands Of Employees Could Be Being Underpaid

Martin Lewis has warned that thousands of people could be being underpaid.

The Money Saving Expert says half a million people in the UK could be affected – but that there is a way to fix it.

In the website's newsletter, it urges those particularly on minimum wage to make sure they are being paid the correct amount by their employer.

The national minimum wage goes up every April when the new pay cycle starts.

This year, those over 23 should be paid at least £9.50 an hour, which means that those working a 35-hour week will get an extra £1,000 a year.

However, it warns that there are a variety of reasons why a person may not be getting what they are owned.

For example, if an employee needs to buy particular tools or equipment to do their job, it could see them lose out.

MSE says it's vital your expenditure doesn't leave you falling below the minimum wage.

The same is for the hours you work; if you start early or leave late, you should be paid for the time you work.

Money Saving Expert says thousands of people could be losing out on hard-earned cash. Credit: Alamy
Money Saving Expert says thousands of people could be losing out on hard-earned cash. Credit: Alamy

It says: "'Unpaid working time' also includes time spent on call at your workplace, and time spent travelling (if it's part of your job). 

"For example, if you're a social worker doing home visits, your salary must cover the time it takes you to travel between each of your clients' homes, as well as the time you spend with them."

The experts say it's also important to make a note of your wage at key birthdays.

The minimum wage rises every year on 1 April but it also changes on a person's 18th, 21st and 23rd birthday.

"You should expect to receive your pay rise from the first full pay cycle after an increase comes in," the site explains.

"So, if you're paid monthly, you should be paid the new rate from the first full month of work that comes after the increase."

Apprentices aged 19 and over and who have completed the first year of your apprenticeship should be paid the national minimum wage for their age, and not the lower apprentice wage.

If you're being paid an apprentice's wage, there must also be a 'training element' to it, if there isn't, you should be paid the correct minimum wage for your age and not as an apprentice.

Speak to your boss if you're not being paid correctly. Credit: Alamy
Speak to your boss if you're not being paid correctly. Credit: Alamy

MSE also warns that bosses can't be topping up an employee's wage with overtime or tips.

A person's 'base salary' must meet minimum wage requirements, and any overtime payments or tips should be to supplement this.

Similarly, commission work should still meet the minimum wage.

It says: "If you don't make enough commission during a pay reference period (the amount of time your pay checks cover), your employer must top up your pay to make sure you get at least the legal minimum.

"The way this is worked out varies depending on your contract. It's either based on a 'fair' estimate of how long it should take you to do your workor, if you're required to work a fixed number of hours, you'll be due the legal minimum wage for these hours."

Rules are a bit different when it comes to employers who provide workers with accommodation, however, but there are limits for employers.

Someone's weekly salary can only be £60.90 a week below the minimum wage in order to cover housing costs – anything over and above this will require an employee to be paid enough so that they do not fall below the minimum wage.

If you believe you are being affected by any of the above, there are steps you can take.

The first port of call is speaking to your boss about it and discussing how it might be improved.

If that fails, you can complain to your company's HR department.

And if that doesn't work either, you can make a complaint to HMRC here.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter

Topics: Martin Lewis, UK News

Dominic Smithers
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