The biggest danger is where you require staff to hire a specific uniform or to wear particular brands, which may be relatively expensive. However, the rules apply even if you just ask them to wear black jeans and a white T-shirt. You have to leave a “buffer” to avoid getting caught out, but how big should it be?
Unfortunately, HMRC has no real advice on this point, but it’s reasonable to assume that it won’t expect you to allow for designer gear. The best approach is probably to be explicit (for example in your employment contracts) about how much you expect your employees to spend on hiring or buying their work clothes, and to make sure that they will still be paid above the minimum wage threshold once that amount is deducted.
If the employee is hiring their uniform from you, Fourth makes it easy to track their payments and anticipate any problems. This is especially important if they work fewer hours one week, which risks pushing them back under the NMW threshold.
This is one of a few challenges we’ve outlined in the National Living Wage guide which we’ve created with Fourth.
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