With effect from 1 October 2006 the adult rate of the minimum wage rose from £5.05 to £5.35 per hour and the youth rate, for workers aged 18 to 21, was increased from £4.25 to £4.45. The rate for workers aged 16 and 17 years has been increased from £3.00 to £3.30 per hour.
Last year, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) adopted a new approach to tackling non-payment of the minimum wage. Specific employment sectors are now selected in an effort to target offenders and enforce the rules.
Following widespread evidence of low pay in the childcare sector – enforcement teams from HMRC found that one in three of the nurseries they visited were paying staff less than the minimum wage – the Department of Trade and Industry has announced a new campaign to ensure fair wages for childcare workers.
The new enforcement campaign will last for a year and will involve a combination of education, targeted enforcement and working with employers to ensure that employees are receiving the pay to which they are legally entitled.
HMRC have 16 minimum wage enforcement teams operating in the UK. It is their job to follow up complaints about non-payment of the minimum wage made to their helpline and to investigate employers in targeted sectors where there is an identified risk of non-compliance with the minimum wage legislation.
Guidance on the minimum wage, for employers and employees, is available at