With only three weeks to go until National Minimum Wage rates increase on 1 October 2014, employers are being urged to prepare for the change by taking steps to work out how much their workers are owed and making sure their payroll is updated.

Different minimum wage rates apply depending on the circumstances of the worker. Factors such as a worker’s age, the provision of accommodation, travel time and uniform hire can all affect how much a worker is owed and must be taken into account by the employer.

Paying workers correctly and in compliance with the law is crucial. If employers are unsure about what they should be paying, they should call the Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368 or visit www.gov.uk for free advice and information.

Employers who fail to pay workers the right amount will be publicly named and shamed, face a financial penalty of up to £20,000 per worker, and may even be prosecuted.

Tips to help ensure you are paying the correct amount of National Minimum Wage

- Check what rates you should be paying to each worker as there are different rates for different types of workers. Visit www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage for more information.
- Have a conversation with your worker to ensure you have the correct details (e.g. check their birthdays, and whether they are an apprentice).
- Keep a record of the number of hours worked by each worker, such as a timesheet system, to make sure you are paying them for the correct number of hours per week/ month.
- Keep your payroll updated for each worker to ensure you are paying the correct amount.

The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour workers are entitled to by law.
All businesses are required to pay the minimum wage to workers, regardless of company size.