Friday, 23 August 2013

TUC welcomes move to expose the minimum wage cheats

Welcoming the announcement today (Friday) by Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson that employers who fail to pay the minimum wage are to be publicly named, Midlands TUC Regional Secretary, Rob Johnston, said:

“It is a crime for employers to pay staff below the NMW and it is right that these flagrant NMW crimes be exposed. 
For too long dodgy employers have felt that they can abuse workers and not pay NMW and get away with it. This is wrong and must be condemned and tackled with increased NMW enforcement.
But exposing NMW cheats should just be a first step in tackling poverty pay. For we need to encourage more employers to go beyond the statutory minimum and pay living wages in the Midlands. The Midlands economy has suffered heavily over the last decade and wages in the region are already low.
So let us expose the cheats and then move on to rebuild our regional economy in a way that secures decent wages for all.”
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“It is right to name and shame minimum wage rogues, so that other employers who think they can get away with paying illegal poverty wages get the message loud and clear that cheating does not pay.
“At the moment all employers who have been found guilty of cheating workers out of a legal wage have to pay a financial penalty, but as this takes place behind closed doors, justice is not seen to be done.
“But naming and shaming won’t be enough to deter those employers who think they are above the law. Only a handful of employers have been taken to court since the minimum wage was introduced in 1999, yet over the years thousands of workers have complained to the minimum wage helpline that they are being ripped off.
“Employers need to know that there will be no hiding place if they break the law. The government must put more money into enforcement so that there are fewer places for even the most determined minimum wage cheats to hide.
“We need to see more prosecutions and much higher fines imposed so that minimum wage crimes become a thing of the past.
“If we are to build a strong and sustainable recovery which benefits all working people, our vision must reach far beyond the minimum wage, which after all is just a floor on pay. Ministers should encourage all employers who can afford to pay a living wage to do so, and consider the introduction of new wages councils to press for decent pay rates across the economy.”

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