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MHA voices anger after being ‘named and shamed’ over minimum wage

Leading not-for-profit care provider MHA has criticised the HMRC after being included on a government ‘named and shamed’ list of 191 companies that broke national minimum wage law.

The list published by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy states MHA failed to pay £29,244.25 to six workers.

MHA, which pays its staff the Real Living Wage - 6.5 per cent higher (and 22 per cent higher in London) than the government's National Living Wage for those aged 25 and over – said the employees had chosen to rent accommodation from the care provider.

“Due to the way the legislation is written, any rent paid to an employer must be taken into account when reviewing whether an employee has received net pay at least equivalent to the National Minimum Wage,” MHA said in a statement.

“On six occasions, this did not happen, which means we have technically breached the legislation. As is our duty, we have made good the situation and have systems in place to make sure it does not happen again”.

The statement continued: “However, we fundamentally disagree with HMRC’s approach to accommodation within the legislation and believe that it was not the intention to penalise charities that pay their people well and choose to rent properties.”

MHA considered a legal challenge against the HMRC’s approach but declined after it could not be certain or limit the costs, or that it could guarantee the outcome.

“We are conscious that as a charity, we need to direct our work for the benefit of the older people we care for and support,” it said.

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