November 11, 2015

Charities must be mindful of minimum wage laws

A charity which was recently “named and shamed” after it was found to have broken minimum wage laws has said it had fallen foul of a technicality.

The Tyne and Wear Riding for the Disabled Association was among the organisations singled out by the Department for Work and Pensions for not meeting its legal obligations.

Figures released last month revealed that it owed a little over £27,000 to six workers.

However, the riding centre claimed it had been penalised for providing additional training for those it had employed as apprentices and deducting the cost from their wages.

A spokesman said the combination of repaying the individuals affected and a fine imposed by the tax authority had put a considerable strain on the charity’s finances.

“The fine we have had to pay to HMRC has had a significant impact on the services we provide for the community, resulting in a refocusing of those services,” they added.

There were a total of four charities on the list of 115 employers, although the riding centre owed by far the largest amount.

Employers who fail to comply with the National Minimum Wage have to pay the arrears of wages to the staff affected and can face a penalty of up to £20,000. For advice on the legislation and other aspects of employment law affecting charities please contact Gemma Ospedale.

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