Welcoming the announcement today (Friday) by Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson that employers who fail to pay the minimum wage are to be publicly named, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
‘It is right to name and shame minimum wage rogues, so that other employers who think they can get away with paying illegal poverty wages get the message loud and clear that cheating does not pay.
‘At the moment all employers who have been found guilty of cheating workers out of a legal wage have to pay a financial penalty, but as this takes place behind closed doors, justice is not seen to be done.
‘But naming and shaming won’t be enough to deter those employers who think they are above the law. Only a handful of employers have been taken to court since the minimum wage was introduced in 1999, yet over the years thousands of workers have complained to the minimum wage helpline that they are being ripped off.
‘Employers need to know that there will be no hiding place if they break the law. The government must put more money into enforcement so that there are fewer places for even the most determined minimum wage cheats to hide.
‘We need to see more prosecutions and much higher fines imposed so that minimum wage crimes become a thing of the past.
‘If we are to build a strong and sustainable recovery which benefits all working people, our vision must reach far beyond the minimum wage, which after all is just a floor on pay. Ministers should encourage all employers who can afford to pay a living wage to do so, and consider the introduction of