The ten most “bizarre” excuses used to avoid paying the National Minimum Wage

The ten most bizarre excuses used by bosses found to have underpaid workers have been revealed.

The list, released by HM Revenue & Customs today, details the sometimes strange, sometimes extraordinary reasons employers gave for not paying the Government’s National Minimum Wage (NMW).

The NMW entitles all workers over the age of 25 to a minimum of £7.20 per hour, increasing to £7.50 per hour this April.

And not paying it can result in significant fines – and a very unhappy workforce.

The top ten excuses

  1. The employee wasn’t a good worker so I didn’t think they deserved to be paid the National Minimum Wage.
  2. It’s part of UK culture not to pay young workers for the first 3 months as they have to prove their ‘worth’ first.
  3. I thought it was ok to pay foreign workers below the National Minimum Wage as they aren’t British and therefore don’t have the right to be paid it.
  4. She doesn’t deserve the National Minimum Wage because she only makes the teas and sweeps the floors.
  5. I’ve got an agreement with my workers that I won’t pay them the National Minimum Wage; they understand and they even signed a contract to this effect.
  6. My accountant and I speak a different language – he doesn’t understand me and that’s why he doesn’t pay my workers the correct wages.
  7. My workers like to think of themselves as being self-employed and the National Minimum Wage doesn’t apply to people who work for themselves.
  8. My workers are often just on standby when there are no customers in the shop; I only pay them for when they’re actually serving someone.
  9. My employee is still learning so they aren’t entitled to the National Minimum Wage.
  10. The National Minimum Wage doesn’t apply to my business.