The news that a quarter of minimum wage workers are underpaid has brought a stinging rebuke from The Workers Union.
According to the Resolution Foundation, 25 percent (1 in 4) of workers aged 25 and over are being paid less than their statutory entitlement. The Foundation also argues that fines for dissenting companies are too low to persuade many of them to observe the rules.
The minimum wage was brought in by the Labour government in 1998. It guarantees the basic amount workers must be paid per hour and is banded by age group.
The current minimum wage for adults 25 and over is £8.21 – although this figure is set to rise to £8.72 in April of this year.
A spokesman for The Workers Union said: ‘It’s of serious concern that there are so many people in the UK who are not being paid what they are entitled to. There are legitimate reasons why an employee can be paid below the minimum wage, but this seems to be a classic case of greedy and unscrupulous firms getting away with it because they can. The government may say they’re determined to stamp this practice out, but we need more than fine words and empty gestures. We’re suggesting that the work carried out by HMRC and the Low Pay Commission should be supplemented by a new “minimum wage taskforce” entirely devoted to rooting out and fining non-compliant companies. It’s a shame that things have to go this far, but the old mantra ‘’a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay” should always apply.’
The Workers Union believes that the increase in the National Minimum Wage is a step in the right direction, but it’s still not enough to guarantee a basic standard of living amongst lower-paid workers. We want to see the government bring in a living wage that better reflects the realities of 21st century living and allows hard-pressed families a little more wriggle room at the end of the month. We’re events hard on this and other important issues, so if you want to help bring social justice to the workplace, then join us and get involved.
The Workers Union – Britain’s hardest working union