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Staff urged to check employers are paying National Living Wage

3 min read

24 March 2016

Deputy Editor, Real Business

With research suggesting employees don’t check their earnings, the government is encouraging staff to make sure their bosses are taking the new National Living Wage into account.

This was highlighted by a survey published by the government’s Step Up for Britain initiative, which found that 32 per cent of the lowest paid staff never check their earnings. 

The scheme, launched in January to highlight the introduction of the National Living Wage on 1 April, revealed that over 1,000 employees are set to directly benefit from the increase – with many working full-time set to see their earnings rise by up to £900 a year.

As part of its advertising campaign, UK workers unveiled what they are earn on the current National Minimum Wage. One such individual was Rena Matthew, raking up £7 per hour, who urged others to check their entitlement. She said: “It’s important to look into it and see if you are eligible. You could be missing out; the extra money can really help. It will be beneficial for individuals and families.”

Read more about the National Living Wage:

When it came to not ensuring the proper amount of wages had been paid, staff across the North-West and East of England were the worst, with 41 per cent of employees failing to do so. This was trailed by 40 per sent of those in the West Midlands and London’s 37 per cent.

This is actually an increase from 2014, where the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) found that only 29 per cent across Britain didn’t check their earnings.

The BIS research also found that 81 per cent of workers struggled to talk to their boss about pay. When asked what would be the most helpful action employers could take, 24 per cent said that clear guidelines on their wages would be helpful.

Commenting on the findings, Jo Swinson, employment relations minister, said that all workers are entitled to be paid the National Living Wage regardless of how many hours they work or how long they have worked for an employer. 

“With minimum wage rates having recently increased, we want to encourage workers to check their payslips,” she said. “And any workers looking to make a complaint should contact the free and confidential pay and work rights helpline.”

The impending April 2016 introduction of the National Living Wage has prompted fears of thousands of job cuts, however, Barry Warne, partner and head of employment at hlw Keeble Hawson, urges business owners to think long and hard before shedding workers during the biggest staff shortage and skills gap in recent history.