Unscrupulous employers use excuses not to pay minimum wage

Some employees are a “total waste of space” and do not deserve to be paid the minimum wage, according to some employers.

A list published today by HM Revenue and Customs revealed the excuses employers use to get out of paying workers the national minimum wage.

Other excuses included claims that a worker was only taken on “as a favour”, had a poor grasp of the English language and that they were disabled. Several employers also said the employee had only asked for £3 per hour when they initially applied for the job.

Paymaster general Dawn Primarolo said the majority of employers were honest and scrupulous.

“But this list shows that there are still some rogue employers out there willing to flout the law, which is why our enforcement teams are hard at work across the UK to ensure that everyone is getting paid at least the national minimum wage,” she said.

The list comes ahead of an increase in the minimum wage on 1 October, which will see employees over the age of 22 receive £5.35 per hour (from £5.05), and 18-21 year olds receive £4.45 an hour (up from £4.25).

The HM Revenue and Customs teams identified almost £3.3m in underpaid salaries between August 2005 and July 2006.


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