1. the maximum penalty for employers who fail to pay their workers the NMW has been increased to £20,000, in addition to making up the shortfall in any wages; and
2. work done as part of a traineeship does not qualify for the NMW.
Traineeships are skills programmes which last a maximum of six months aimed at people aged 16-23 without the skills or experience needed to get a sustainable job.
The Government have also announced this week that from 1 October 2014 the NMW rates will increase as follows:
1. apprentices from £2.68 to £2.73 per hour;
2. 16 - 17 year olds from £3.72 to £3.79 per hour;
3. 18 – 20 year olds from £5.03 to £5.13 per hour; and
4. adult rate from £6.31 to £6.50.
The increases represent the first rise in real terms to the NMW rates since 2008 and the Government has stated that there will be bigger rises in future rates of the NMW provided economic conditions improve.