Emily Thornberry – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Attorney General

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Emily Thornberry on 2015-11-18.

To ask the Attorney General, how many employers were (a) charged with and (b) convicted of a criminal offence by the Crown Prosecution Service for non-compliance with minimum wage legislation in each of the last five years.

Robert Buckland

Data held centrally by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), together with information provided by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which has responsibility for enforcing the law in relation to the National Minimum Wage (NMW), shows that in the financial year 2010 – 2011, no employers were charged with a criminal offence for non-compliance with minimum wage legislation but one employer was convicted from an earlier charge. One charge was made in the financial year 2011 – 2012 and one conviction was made in 2012 – 2013. No cases were charged or convicted in 2013 – 2014 and one case was charged in 2014 – 2015.

The majority of employers identified as paying below the National Minimum Wage pay arrears on receipt of a formal Notice of Underpayment. Where they do not do so, HMRC pursues recovery through the civil courts. For deliberate non-compliance or obstructive behaviour HMRC operates a policy of selective and exemplary criminal investigation action as part of a wider enforcement strategy.