The SPFL will be writing to all member clubs to remind them of their National Minimum Wage obligations, after the matter was discussed in detail at the latest SPFL Board meeting (on Thursday, 26 January, 2017).
While the current standard form SPFL professional player contract already includes the obligation to pay National Minimum Wage, the league has now committed to working on a new version of this contract for use by all clubs from this summer, which will make the requirement of paying National Minimum Wage more explicit.
Any complaints made to the SPFL on National Minimum Wage will be thoroughly investigated to ensure that all member clubs are acting appropriately and in accordance with the laws of the land. A small number of such allegations have already been investigated and corrective action has been taken where appropriate.
While recognising that registration of players participating in SPFL competitions is undertaken through the Scottish FA, and also that the primary responsibility for policing payment by Scottish employers of the National Minimum Wage (and tax obligations) lies with HMRC, the SPFL has a responsibility to take action to seek to ensure that its member clubs pay players, as a minimum, at National Minimum Wage rates.
SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster commented: “The SPFL has looked at the issue of National Minimum Wage very closely within the context of some of the challenges and factors that are unique to football. As a next step the SPFL will be examining its Rules and the Board will be bringing forward a number of recommendations to toughen the league’s approach to ensure clubs pay their players at least at the National Minimum Wage.
“At the same time, the SPFL will be available to provide any required support to member clubs to help them fully understand this area of the law and to address any challenges. We will ensure any claims received from players in this territory are quickly dealt with and, if upheld, that payments due are enforced.”