Thornbury Community Services - National Minimum Wage enquiries FAQs

  1. Why have I been contacted by Thornbury Community Services?

    There has been a lot of uncertainty about how working hours should be calculated under National Minimum Wage legislation. At Thornbury Community Services (TCS) we have been working with HMRC, to ensure that our treatment of National Minimum Wage requirements is in line with HMRC’s expectations.   
    We have conducted a thorough review of our records and have identified that we have underpaid you at some point, since August 2013, whilst you have been an employee of TCS. We are contacting you now to provide details of the payment which is due to you.  

  2. What is National Minimum Wage?    

    The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour that almost all workers are entitled to. The National Living Wage is higher than the National Minimum Wage and is the amount that must be paid to workers if they are over 25. All employers have to pay the National Minimum Wage.   
    Within this document we refer to the National Minimum Wage which reflects the minimum amount that TCS will pay workers, in some instances this will be the same as the National Living Wage (i.e. if you are over 25).    
    The Living Wage, sometimes referred to as the ‘Real’ Living Wage, is an hourly rate based on the basic cost of living in the UK. It’s calculated by the Living Wage Foundation, a campaigning organisation in the UK, and therefore has no legal grounding.   The National Minimum Wage is less than the Living Wage, and the Living Wage is not relevant for the purpose of this document.  (Despite the similarity in names, the Living Wage (or "Real" Living Wage) is also an entirely separate concept from the "National Living Wage" which is simply means the National Minimum Wage rate for workers aged 25+).  

  3. How much am I owed? 

    If you have worked for us in the 2019/20 tax year, the correspondence you receive from us will include a summary, by tax year, of the total amount that is owed to you. 
    If you have not worked for us this tax year, we will share a summary showing the total amount that is owed once you have completed the instructions in your correspondence to verify your details. 

  4. What period am I being paid for?  

    We have reviewed all amounts owed between 1st August 2013 and 31st May 2019. We will break down the amount owed by tax year so that you can see how the payment has built up. You will receive this information in an email. 

    As part of this exercise, we are reviewing our processes for training since 31st May to ensure that you are never underpaid when attending one of our competency update courses.

  5. Why are you paying me? 

    In almost all circumstances, the driver behind the underpayment is related to a time where you voluntarily attended a competency update course delivered by TCS (or a relevant third party). This time counts as working time as you are already an employee of the business and if you did not work a shift in that week it is likely to trigger an underpayment.

  6. How have you calculated the payment?    

    In line with HMRC guidelines we assess whether there was a National Minimum Wage underpayment in every pay reference period that you were a TCS employee. 

    The pay reference period that we have used for these assessments is a two-week period running Monday to Sunday. 

    Where there has been an underpayment, we have used the HMRC formula to identify the correct amount to pay you using the current minimum wage, the calculation from HMRC is set out as (A/B) x C where: 

    • A = the amount of underpayment identified  
    • B = the rate of National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage at the time  
    • C = the current rate of National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage  
    NMW has age triggers, these have been factored into the payment calculations to reflect the age that you were when you worked each shift.  

  7. Can I see the specific calculations that have generated my payment? 

    Due to the large number of records that we are dealing with and the length of time covered by this review, we are unable to share detailed calculations to each worker. The detailed calculations produced have been subject to audit by our external auditors as part of the annual audit of our financial statements.  

  8. How much am I likely to receive?     

    Every person we are contacting will have had their individual records reviewed to determine what amount is owed. The amount owed could range from a substantial amount to a negligible amount. Under HMRC rules we need to process all payments, no matter how small. You will receive an email payslip on / just before the payment date so you know how much you will be receiving.  

  9. When will I receive the payment?  

    You can view your specific payment dates in the email we sent you.

  10. I no longer work for you and I need to verify you have the correct bank details on file for me. What should I do?  

    If you no longer work for TCS, you need to contact our ID Verification Team and, once you have completed their identity checks, they will establish whether the bank details we hold on file for you, if we have them, are still valid. If not they can issue you with a bank details form to complete online, so we can make payment into an account different to the one we hold on file for you. Please note, the completed form must have been returned by the deadline in the email we sent to you. 

  11. If I have to contact the ID Verification Team, what details will I be asked to confirm before payment can be made?   

    The team will need to access your records using your TCS number, so please quote this when you call. Our team will then ask you the following identity verification questions:  
    • Date and year of birth  
    • Email address   
    • Postcode of the last address you shared with us  
    If you are able to complete the above identity checks, if we have historical bank details on file, we will tell you the name of the bank / building society and the last 4 digits of your account number so you can confirm if these are still correct. We will ask you what the sort code and first 4 digits of the account number are so we can be sure we have the right bank account.  
    If we do not have historical bank details on file for you, please see question 10 for instructions.
    If for some reason the ID Verification Team are unable to complete the identity verification checks with you, they will escalate this to a member of our second line team who will contact you.  
    The ID Verification Team will be available Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm. The number is 01756 692 858. Please note this team will only be able to assist you with identity and bank details verifications, they will not be able to give you any information on amounts, calculations or any other questions you may have.  

  12. I have a query which is not addressed within these FAQs, what should I do?   

    If you have a query that is not answered within these FAQs, please email – Please note that the Duty Desk, Compliance and Payroll teams will be unable to handle detailed questions.

  13. I am worried about providing my bank details, how can you provide me with reassurance that this is not fraud?  

    If you are nervous about providing your details you can call your normal TCS contacts to confirm that this is a legitimate process. As per FAQ 12 above, they will not be able to answer any queries but they will be able to reassure you that this is genuine. We can also confirm that we have successfully paid a number of people already which should give you further reassurance.  

  14. How will TCS protect my personal data if I provide my bank details?    

    We handle bank details for all candidates who work for us. All details are managed in accordance with our privacy policy. (Need to hyperlink to the new worker privacy notice)

  15. I don’t want to give TCS my bank details. Can you pay me by cheque?    

    We are only able to pay you by electronic bank transfer and we are unable to pay by cheque or any other payment methods.  

  16. Will I receive holiday pay?   

    The amount paid excludes holiday pay.   

  17. What are the deduction implications for me (e.g. tax, National Insurance and pension)?  

    In line with HMRC guidelines we have deducted tax and national insurance at the current year’s tax rates. Both tax and National Insurance will be paid to HMRC for you.  
    If you are currently auto enrolled with our current provider for pension auto enrolment, The People’s Pension, then we have made the appropriate deduction to the amount owed to you and have funded an additional pension contribution in line with the current year’s Auto Enrolment Pension rates and thresholds. 
  18. I receive benefits or tax credits, are they impacted by this payment?    

    Your arrears payment may impact any benefits or tax credits you receive. If you receive tax credits and your annual income (gross) for this year has increased by £2,500 or more (including the payments referenced in this letter) then you must tell HMRC straight away. To find out how to tell HMRC please go to  
    If you receive benefits such as Universal Credit, you will need to tell the Department for Work and Pensions about your arrears payment as soon as possible. Find out more at  
    If you receive housing benefit, you’ll need to tell your local council about your arrears payment as soon as possible. Find your local council at  
    If your total (gross) income for any tax year was less than your personal tax allowance (the amount you can earn before you need to pay tax) then you may have paid too much tax. You can check the personal tax allowance for each year by going to You can confirm your total income for each tax year using your online Personal Tax Account (for the last two years), P60s, P45s, payslips and/or self-assessment account.  
    To claim a tax refund please write to HMRC, BX9 1AS, United Kingdom. Please ensure your covering letter states your claim is for ‘Social Care Scheme Arrears Payment’, includes your National Insurance Number and which year you believe you paid too much tax. You must also include a copy of the letter from TCS confirming your payment.  
    Please note that TCS has no visibility of any benefits or tax credits that you receive, we will not be able to answer detailed questions about how any payment from TCS impacts your personal situation.  
    Please also be aware that the information given above in response is general guidance only and is intended to direct you to the Government and/or HMRC resources that may be relevant to you in order that you can find out further information about how the payments may impact on you personally. TCS is not providing you with any tax and/or financial advice (as it would be inappropriate for us to do so) and you may therefore wish to take your own independent tax and/or financial advice if you wish.   

  19. Is there a deadline for me receiving any payment?  

    It is our intention to have completed all payments by 20th December 2019 and we will be sending further correspondence to those we are unable to process payment for in January 2020.
    We do not intend to continue to actively contact anyone after 30th November 2019.  
    If you are receiving this correspondence after this date and did not action it at the time, please email our helpline which will remain open for a further period. The email address is: 

  20. Is this a one off or regular payment?    

    This is a one-off payment. We have now changed our processes so there will not be further instances where we owe you backdated amounts.  

  21. I have worked for other companies which are part of the Independent Clinical Services group – does this correspondence relate to those as well?   

    This correspondence relates to payments arising from work you completed with Thornbury Community Services.