Rogue employees face minimum wage crackdown

The minimum wage is increased from today, as the government pledges a crackdown against those companies who are not paying their employees enough.

From today all workers aged 22 and over must receive at least £5.73 an hour. Those between 18 and 21 must receive £4.77 while the national minimum wage for those aged 16 or 17 is £3.53.

Efforts need to continue to ensure the “basic standard of employment rights” introduced through the minimum wage ten years ago is maintained, employment minister Pat McFadden said.

“It’s vital that we safeguard this right with effective enforcement, which is why we’re bringing in tough new penalties for those who flout the law,” he said.

“The vast majority of employers treat their workers fairly and have nothing to fear from these changes. In fact, stronger enforcement will help prevent rogue bosses from undercutting honest competitors.”

Around one million people are estimated to benefit from the minimum wage, which was originally introduced in April 1999. Since then the government estimates over £30 million of unpaid wages has been returned to over 100,000 workers.

Its employment bill currently going through parliament introduces an automatic fine of £5,000 for companies not complying, with the most serious cases able to be tried in the crown court where unlimited penalties will apply.