Impact of the Minimum Wage Rise and Compliance

Cover Image for Impact of the Minimum Wage Rise and Compliance

| Courtney Price

The recent rise in the minimum wage poses a significant impact to businesses and their employees. On one hand, it aims to improve the standard of living for workers on the lowest rungs of the pay scale. On the other hand, it presents significant challenges for business owners who must now navigate the complexities of compliance while managing increased labour costs.

In Rebecca Benneyworth Tax Update - February 2024, Rebecca Benneyworth provided further insight into this topic.

The cost of employing a full-time worker, previously around £24,000 annually, is expected to increase by £2,000 starting April. This increase is not just a simple adjustment but a substantial financial load that could lead to wage inflation, potentially causing strain on businesses, including closures and insolvencies. The hike in minimum wage has led to a more uniform wage distribution, which leaves many employers unable to raise everyone's wages proportionally, resulting to a flatter wage profile.

Accountants play a crucial role in guiding their clients through these changes. They must ensure that businesses are fully aware of the impact these raises have on their wage expenses and the importance of adhering to minimum wage regulations. Non-compliance can occur through seemingly innocuous practices such as improper deductions for debts or uniforms. For instance, a case involving a fast food chain highlighted how requiring employees to purchase specific clothing without compensation was ruled a breach of minimum wage regulations.

To mitigate the risks associated with the minimum wage rise, some businesses might consider hiring younger employees, as this could reduce expenses significantly, however this is a delicate balance between cost-saving and maintaining operational efficiency.

In terms of compliance, it's essential for businesses to understand the nuances of what constitutes a breach. For example, deductions from wages for personal benefits, even if they represent legitimate debts, can result in a minimum wage violation.

The rise in minimum wage is a testament to the ongoing efforts to create a fairer economy. However, it also underscores the need for businesses to be vigilant and proactive in their compliance strategies. Accountants and advisors must continue to educate and support their clients to navigate these changes successfully, ensuring that the transition is as smooth as possible for all parties involved.

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The contents of this article are meant as a guide only and are not a substitute for professional advice. The author/s accept no responsibility for any action taken, or refrained from, as a result of the material contained in this document. Specific advice should be obtained before acting or refraining from acting, in connection with the matters dealt with in this article.

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About the Author

Courtney Price is a content creator for CPDStore UK. Courtney joined us during the COVID-19 pandemic and has been involved in the ever-evolving world of accounting ever since. Her passion for reading and writing, coupled with her degree in copywriting from Vega School has allowed her to channel her creativity and expertise into crafting engaging and informative content.


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