Campaign launched to raise awareness of increases in national minimum wage and national living wage

BEIS
BEIS

Two-thirds (69%) of people earning less than £15,000 do not know they should be paid for travel between appointments, according to a Populus poll commissioned by the Government.

The findings were released as the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) launched a nationwide advertising campaign to improve low-paid workers’ knowledge of their rights around the national living wage and the national minimum wage.

In 2017, the national minimum wage increases on 1 April – not 1 October as it has done every year since its inception in 1999. This makes the rate rise coincide with that of the national living wage – the minimum wage rate for people aged 25 and over – which was introduced in 2016.

The poll of more than 1,400 workers also found that:

  • 57% did not know having money deducted from their wages to cover the costs of their uniform is unlawful if it takes their earnings under the national minimum or national living wage; and
  • 48% did not know that tips cannot be used to top up pay to the legal minimum.

Business minister Margot James said: “We are determined to make sure everybody in work receives a fair wage and while most employers get it right, there are still a small number who fail to play by the rules.”

Jennie Granger, director general for customer compliance at HM Revenue and Customs, said: “Employers must pay their workers what they’re entitled to and follow the rules. We will act to ensure ripped-off workers receive their proper pay and hardworking businesses are not losing out to dodgy dealers who cheat their staff.”

From 1 April 2017, the national living wage increases 4.2% to £7.50 per hour and the national minimum wage for workers aged 21-24 increases 1.4% to £7.05. There are also increases for workers on the minimum wage aged 18-20 and 16-17; as well as an uplift in the rate for apprentices and the accommodation offset. Full details are outlined here.

Earlier this month, BEIS named and shamed 360 employers for underpaying workers nearly £1 million.

 

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