Minimum wage still out of reach for many workers says TUC

More
than four-and-a-half years after its introduction, thousands of workers still
earn less than the statutory national minimum wage, according to the TUC.

The
minimum wage was introduced on 1 April 1999 and now stands at £4.50 an hour (or
£3.80 an hour for those staff aged 18-21).

The
TUC estimates that £13m has been recovered from employers breaking the law
since its introduction, but that around 170,000 workers are still taking less
money home than the law says they should be entitled to.

Employees
being cheated out of the minimum wage are most likely to be employed in the
clothing, footwear and retail sectors. And hairdressers, domestic workers and
housekeepers are also likely to be underpaid, says the TUC.

The
TUC and the Low Pay Network have published the second edition of Enforcing the
National Minimum Wage, which sets out how unions and advice workers can make
sure all workers are paid the legal minimum.

TUC
general secretary Brendan Barber said: "With millions of pounds already
retrieved from employers failing to pay the minimum wage, the Inland Revenue
teams responsible for enforcement are clearly doing a good job.

"But
TUC figures suggest that many more workers out there are still losing
out," he said. "There must be no hiding place for rogue bosses."

By Michael Millar

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