Minimum Wage Crackdown on Rogue Businesses

Small Business News – 6th December 2007

"Rogue" businesses that refuse to pay their staff the National Minimum Wage are to face stiffer penalties.

The government is to introduce almost unlimited penalties for the worst offenders and will be strengthening the powers of inspectors.

The announcement comes as the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reforms (BERR) publishes the results of a consultation into strengthening enforcement of the National Minimum Wage and Employment Agency Standards.

The results of the response to the consultation will form part of the Government’s Employment Bill, to be published tomorrow.

Businesses and unions are said to be supportive of the proposed crackdown which is designed to bring greater fairness to both business and workers.

Pat McFadden, the Minister for Employment Relations, said that for workers to be paid less than the minimum wage is unfair to the workers and unfair to the businesses that actually pay the national minimum wage.

The fines for not paying the minimum wage are currently set at £5000 and, under the new rules, worst case offenders can be taken to crown court where unlimited fines are possible.

The EAS Inspectorate will gain the powers to access financial information so that they can check if cases of non-payment are isolated or part of widespread abuse.

Further information can be obtained on the National Minimum Wage Helpline on 0845 6000 678.

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