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When businesses are repeatedly found to have breached national minimum wage regulations, will the Minister ensure that HMRC proactively investigates other cases of staff employed on similar terms and with similar contracts, rather than requiring each employee to demonstrate separately that he or she has been underpaid?
Kelly Tolhurst (Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy))
I assure my hon. Friend that we take HMRC’s enforcement of the national minimum wage very seriously. There are many actions that we can take when people breach the law and do not pay the minimum wage. We will prosecute companies that are found not to be paying it, but our priority remains ensuring that workers who have been underpaid receive the arrears owed to them, and in such cases companies must also pay a penalty. We are committed to the enforcement of the minimum wage, which is why we have doubled our expenditure on it.