National minimum wage enforcement - employment tribunal claims
Claims by workers before tribunals and courts
A worker can bring a claim before an employment tribunal (or an industrial tribunal in Northern Ireland) to recover any money which they believe they are owed as a result of not receiving the national minimum wage (NMW). Alternatively, a worker can go to a civil court to recover the money due to them.
A worker may also bring a claim to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal or victimisation if you sack them or take some other action against them for trying to ensure that they are paid the NMW, or simply because the worker is, or is going to become, eligible for the NMW. For free confidential advice on this and other employment rights and work-related matters you can call the Acas Helpline on Tel 08457 47 47 47.
In civil cases, the burden is on you to prove that you have paid the NMW to the worker, rather than for the worker to prove that they have not received the NMW.
Where a case is taken to an employment tribunal by a worker, a conciliation officer employed by Acas has a duty to seek to encourage a settlement.
Unfair dismissal because of the minimum wage
The Pay and Work Rights Helpline treats all complaints about underpayment in confidence and compliance officers will not disclose to you the identity of an individual who complains - or even that an individual has complained. However, if, for whatever reason, the identity of the worker were to become known to you and you then sacked them, this would be unfair dismissal if it could be shown that the reason for the dismissal was the fact that they had complained.
If a 17-year-old worker is about to become 18, or a 21-year-old worker is about to become 22 - it would be against the law to dismiss them simply because they were about to become entitled to a higher rate of the NMW.
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