HMRC have just published their list of the most ridiculous excuses for flouting the law regarding the National Minimum Wage. The most absurd excuses included: \tShe does not deserve the National Minimum Wage because she only makes the teas and sweeps the floors. \tThe employee was not a good worker, so I did not think they deserved to be paid the National Minimum Wage. \tMy accountant and I speak a different language \u2013 he does not understand me, and that is why he does not pay my workers the correct wages. \tMy employee is still learning so they are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage. \tIt is part of UK culture not to pay young workers for the first three months as they have to prove their \u2018worth\u2019 first. \tThe National Minimum Wage does not apply to my business. \tI have got an agreement with my workers that I will not pay them the National Minimum Wage; they understand, and they even signed a contract to this effect. \tI thought it was okay to pay young workers below the National Minimum Wage as they are not British and therefore do not have the right to be paid it. \tMy workers like to think of themselves as being self-employed and the National Minimum Wage does not apply to people who work for themselves. \tMy workers are often just on standby when there are no customers in the shop; I only pay them for when they are actually serving someone. In reality it's no laughing matter to pay staff poorly. Here are the current rates: \t\u00a38.91 - Age 23 or over (National Living Wage) \t\u00a38.36 - Age 21 to 22 \t\u00a36.56 - Age 18 to 20 \t\u00a34.62 - Age under 18 \t\u00a34.30 - Apprentice The consequences of not keeping to the rules can be painful as HMRC are encouraging concerned staff to contact them directly. 'HMRC reviews every complaint made about the minimum wage, so if you think you are being short-changed, or are a business that is unsure of the rules or needs help to get things right, get in touch and we will help you. But any employer deliberately or unapologetically underpaying their staff will face hefty fines and other enforcement action'.