BDO expands National Minimum Wage team across the North

Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO has made two new hires to its National Minimum Wage (NMW) team, as it continues to invest in talent across the Northern Employment Tax team, headed by Steve Talbot, Partner.

Dale O’Reggio has been appointed as National Minimum Wage technical lead in the North to support with active HMRC compliance investigations and help employers take proactive steps to improve their governance control environment to ensure ongoing compliance with the NMW regulations. Dale has built a strong track record in helping employers with NMW requirements, having worked as the National Minimum Wage Employment Tribunal Lead at HMRC. This role was created at HMRC due to the ever increasing complexity of NMW and Dale also had the expertise of navigating the more technical employer cases that HMRC enforce.  He has more than six years’ experience in applying and interpreting complicated NMW legislation, with end-to-end experience of NMW investigations.

Rhys Tomlinson joins as assistant manager, having worked at HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for five years as a Higher Officer within its NMW department. He was responsible for carrying out worker and third party risk assessments, as well as working alongside employers in meeting their NMW obligations. At BDO, he will support clients in relation to NMW legislation, providing guidance on areas such as current HMRC reviews.

Kyle Newton, Northern NMW leader at BDO, said: “The National Minimum Wage landscape is complex and under regular scrutiny by the Government and the Low Pay Commission. The Government continues to invest in expanding its enforcement and there are a number of technicalities commonly enforced by HMRC beyond unpaid working time. NMW can present considerable challenges to businesses and payroll departments, particularly those with a large number of workers and typically can impact workers up to £30k and in some cases beyond this level.

“With strict enforcement measures in place, and a continued appetite by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to ‘name and shame’ employers who fail to pay workers the minimum wage, it’s essential that as a firm we continue to invest in the best talent to arm our clients with the most relevant and up-to-date support to help navigate this often confusing area.”

According to the latest Government figures, since 2015, the government have ordered employers to repay over £100 million to 1 million workers and in the latest naming and shaming list published in December a further 200 employers were reported for NMW breaches. These businesses range from large multinationals to SMEs and sole traders, with all facing significant financial penalties of up to 200%, in addition to repayment of the NMW arrears, additional pension contribution costs and employers’ National Insurance Contributions .

Last year, the Government announced a significant increase in the National Living Wage (NLW), which will come into force in April 2022. This will lead to a pay rise for some of the lowest paid workers in the UK, with workers on the National Living Wage seeing a 6.6% increase to £9.50 an hour.

Dale O’Reggio said: “I’m delighted to be joining BDO at a time of continued change within the NMW field. As we expand our capabilities and extend our NMW service, we will be perfectly positioned to ensure clients meet their NMW obligations and continue to pay employees the legal minimum wage, particularly at a time when the cost of living crisis is reaching unprecedented levels.”