Equestrian Businesses Named for Non-Compliance of NMW

6 March 2024

The Department of Business and Trade (DBT) who are responsible for minimum wage policy (including compliance and enforcement) has publicly released a list of employers found not to be compliant with the National Minimum Wage, as provided to them by the HMRC, who are responsible for enforcing the NMW Act on behalf of the DBT.

The cases included within the list are historic, but for the first time, there are five equestrians on the list, and this is significant. The DBT has been behind on the sharing of this list due to the Pandemic, so it should be noted that these are historic non-compliance dating back as far as 2015, but they are gathering pace, which is possibly linked to an approaching election. The list can be viewed here.

The HMRC has made it no secret that they are focused on the equestrian industry as a sector of low pay and non-compliance. Therefore, the ‘go to’ association for equestrian employers- the Equestrian Employers Association (EEA) – would encourage employers to be aware that compliance with the National Minimum Wage is the only way forward to protect your business. Civil penalties can be up to 200% of the arrears payable to workers. Persistent non-compliance can result in criminal prosecution.

Even though not all cases of non-compliance of the NMW is intentional, it is important to raise awareness of the consequences of not doing so, and having your name in the public domain is one of them. The upcoming rise of the NMW and NLW is going to be significant for equestrian employers, and it is therefore important that they understand their legal requirements.
Tullis Matson, EEA President

A Notice of Underpayment should not normally be issued by the HMRC where an employer has correctly repaid all the arrears that are owed to workers before the start of an investigation, including where they have self-corrected. Employers therefore need to be proactive in identifying payment errors and take note of any emails from the HMRC advising them to do so.

Further information on the Government NMW Enforcement policy can be found here.

The EEA is here to help, support and advise employers in the equestrian sector, and we strongly advise all employees consider membership to ensure they are correctly informed and protected about their responsibilities as an employer.

The EEA guide to the NMW can be found here.

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