Equestrian employers risk hefty fines if they fail to pay new minimum wage

  • Equestrian employers and workers have been reminded that the national minimum wage (NMW) goes up this week.

    On 1 April the NMW will rise and non-compliant businesses run the risk of hefty fines and even criminal prosecution.

    Lucy Katan, executive director of the British Grooms Association (BGA) and Equestrian Employers Association (EEA) said some riders have been fined more than £30,000 for failing to pay their staff the NMW.

    “We really want to help support and educate employers on how to protect their businesses — the consequences [of not paying the NMW] can be massive,” she told H&H.

    “Non-compliant employers need to watch out, HMRC is coming to get them and they are putting their businesses at risk.”

    Ms Katan added that anyone can report a non-compliant business to the HMRC and they can do so anonymously.

    “The equestrian industry is not immune and as more and more people become aware [that employers must pay the NMW], more people will go to HMRC and they will investigate,” she added.

    The EEA and BGA have produced comprehensive guides on the NMW, with support from HMRC. The guides are individually tailored for employers and grooms to encourage greater understanding and an increased compliance with the legislation.

    The bespoke guides include the different rates of NMW and national living wage, who is responsible for paying the NMW and the five most common mistakes.

    Continued below…

    Employers can find industry specific information on the EEA website, and grooms can find information on rates and how they affect them on the BGA site. 

    If anyone thinks they are not receiving at least the minimum wage, they can contact Acas, the government body responsible for handling pay and work complaints, in confidence by calling 0300 1231100 or submit a query online.

    Don’t miss this week’s Horse & Hound magazine, out today (29 March) for further advice on and analysis of the issue

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