HMRC audits employers who require employees to wear uniform/dress to ensure National Minimum Wage compliance.
Monsoon was reported in the press to have failed to pay National Minimum Wage to some of its employees. Monsoon required staff to wear Monsoon clothes at their own expense. HMRC said that, because wearing Monsoon clothes was compulsory, the amounts spent by the employees on clothes for work in any pay reference period should have been deducted from their pay for that period before calculating whether they have received the National Minimum Wage.
The HMRC has given the example of hairdressers who require their staff to wear white t-shirts and black trousers for work. Even a policy as loose as this would be caught.
What this means for employers
This may affect employers who pay staff National Minimum Wage, or close to it, and who stipulate that employees should wear any particular item of clothing. We suggest that such employers check what they ask their employees to wear, and how this is paid for.