- EXPOSED: Bosses’ poor excuses for failing to pay staff properly
- One Claimed Worker was Foreign ‘So didn’t Deserve Min Wage’
- Another Refsued to Pay Out for Employee who ‘Only Made Tea and Swept the Floor’
GREEDY company bosses have been outed for outrageously slandering workers in a litany of excuses to not pay them the minimum wage. “
She only makes the tea and sweeps the floors” was among the top 10 contemptible reasons given by companies which robbed staff of proper pay.
The findings were released by the government today as part of a new £1.7 million awareness campaign to ensure workers know their rights.
Other excuses not to pay the minimum wage include claims that the employee “wasn’t a good worker” and that it is “OK” not to if they are foreign.
By law all workers must be paid at least £7.20 an hour if they are aged 25 and over — but much less if they are younger.
Many companies have been caught not paying these poverty rates, claiming they didn’t think they had to pay out if their workers were still learning, or the minimum wage doesn’t apply to their business or even getting workers to sign contracts to agree they won’t be paid it.
One boss said: “It’s part of UK culture not to pay young workers for the first three months as they have to prove their ‘worth’ first.”
The excuses were all given by employers to HMRC officers investigating underpayment of the minimum wage, which can lead to fines of up to £20,000 per worker. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It’s not fair that decent employers who respect and pay their staff well should be undercut by bad bosses who exploit staff and cheat them out of pay.”
Labour’s shadow business secretary Clive Lewis said that the “Prime Minister is in full-scale retreat on her pledges to tackle fat-cat pay. Ministers should stop being soft on hard labour — crime shouldn’t pay, and work should.”
The excuses were published as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn pledged a radical new proposal to cap corporate pay to tackle Britain’s scandalous pay inequality.
Unite leader Len McCluskey said the findings were a continuing reminder that work does not pay and that too often companies are skimming profits out of the pockets of their workforce. He stressed the need for restoring collective bargaining that would see fairer wages negotiated and protected.
Business minister Margot James added: “There is no excuse for not paying staff properly.” She hopes the campaign will raise awareness among the lowest paid about what they must legally receive and urged anyone who thinks they may be paid less to contact conciliation service Acas.
Acas’s Stewart Gee said: “We welcome this new government awareness campaign as there are no good excuses for not paying staff what they are legally entitled to.
“Failure to pay the national living wage could also result in a company director being banned for up to 15 years.”
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