Not for the first time do HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) turn their attention to the ‘beautiful game’. Clubs who fail to pay their staff the National Minimum Wage will be prosecuted. Never mind the minimum wage, there has been a spate of recruitment adverts offering the opportunity for work, without pay! 2013-14 will result in penalties (or at least that’s the threat). It doesn’t stop there, HMRC says some clubs are not paying backroom staff the legal minimum. Research has illustrated that posts are being advertised for work at football clubs in areas such as sport science, marketing, supervisors etc. HMRC is now taking pre-emptive action to safeguard workers by contacting 44 football clubs, to ensure they are not breaching minimum wage regulations.
Michelle Wyer, Assistant Director of HMRC’s National Minimum Wage team, says: “Paying the National Minimum Wage is not a choice – it’s the law. It can’t be right that as some players are paid millions of pounds, other members of staff are paid below the legal limit. HMRC enforces the rules, protecting workers from rogue employers and ensuring they get at least the wage to which they are legally entitled. Where an employer ignores these rules, we will take steps to ensure arrears are paid out in full and the employer fined. In the most serious cases, criminal prosecution can follow.”