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27th Jun 2019
Vicky Webber

Avoiding falling foul of minimum wage legislation is the subject of the latest in a series of free HR masterclasses taking place next month – 21 years after the first National Minimum Wage was set in the UK.

‘Navigating the National Minimum Wage’ is the title of the tenth in a series of masterclasses presented by the HR team at Lovewell Blake, with sessions taking place in Norwich on 4th July and Lowestoft on 11th July.

“Recent years have seen HMRC crack down on abuses of the minimum wage,” said Vicky Webber, Lovewell Blake’s assistant HR manager, who will present the masterclasses along with colleague Gemma Chapman.

“With penalty fines of up to 200 per cent of any underpayment, no limits on how far back retrospective payments can go (and these have to made at current rates), as well as the considerable reputational harm which being named and shamed can cause, getting it wrong can be costly and damaging for employers.”

The masterclasses will explain the different levels of minimum wage applicable to different ages and types of employees, as well as the most common errors made by employers, including understanding what constitutes working time (for example, sleep-in carers), the importance of pay reference periods which mean that annually-paid bonuses cannot be used to ‘average out’ wages across the whole year, and which deductions can and cannot be offset against the minimum wage.

The government has set a target that the National Living Wage should be set at 60 per cent of median pay, and the main adult rate increased by 11 per cent to £8.21 per hour in April.

The ‘Navigating The Minimum Wage’ masterclasses take place on Thursday 4th July at Lovewell Blake’s Norwich offices, and on Thursday 11th July at their Lowestoft offices.  Both masterclasses start at 7.45am, with a buffet breakfast provided.  Attendance is free, but places must be reserved in advance.  For more details, or to book a place, visit. www.lovewell-blake.co.uk/events.