Northern Ireland employers fined for underpaying employees

By Gary Adair

There were 11 employers from Northern Ireland on a list published by the HMRC of employers who had failed to pay the National Living and Minimum Wage to their employees.

Over £38,000 was owed in back pay to 222 employees of the 11 businesses in Northern Ireland. The amount of back pay owed to individual employees ranged from £33.89 to £1,518. One employer owed a total of £10,317.95 in back pay to 3 employees.

The extent of the problem of underpayment of employee wages highlights that there is still a lot of uncertainty among employers about how to calculate salaries accurately, with the top 5 reasons being:

  • Taking deductions from wages for costs such as uniforms
  • Underpaying apprentices
  • Failing to pay travel time
  • Misusing the accommodation offset
  • Using the wrong time periods for calculating pay


Employers in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK need to make sure that they are compliant with the current rules and regulations around the National Living and Minimum wage, which is currently set at the rates below:


  • Workers aged 25: £7.83 an hour (the national living wage)
  • Workers aged 21-24: £7.38 an hour
  • Workers aged 18-20: £5.90 an hour
  • Workers aged under 18: £4.20 an hour


If you require legal advice or support from an Employment law solicitor in Northern Ireland contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by clicking here.