It’s probably fair to say that the care sector has faced another difficult year. One of the main issues has been the failure to pay National Minimum Wage (NMW) that wholly or partially related to sleep-in shifts.
In the latest twist in this saga, the Government has now announced a new Social Care Compliance Scheme (SCCS).
The Scheme aims to support employers seeking to become compliant and also offers further protection from HMRC penalties.
Some might suggest that seeking to engage with HMRC about a breach of the NMW may feel rather like putting your head into the lion’s mouth, but without joining the scheme the risk remains that a disgruntled staff member may prompt an HMRC inspection and potential fines of 200% of any underpayment found.
If you don’t want to approach HMRC, you can seek legal advice to determine if you have been paying your staff less than the NMW and how best to mitigate your risk as a result.
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The government has now announced that employers will be able to opt into a new social-care compliance scheme giving them a year to determine what they owe to workers, backed by advice from HMRC. Enforcement action for the back pay will be launched against those who do not sign up.