The government has launched a new campaign to raise awareness among workers who are being underpaid.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is investing £1.7m to encourage workers to check their pay to ensure they are receiving at least the statutory minimum ahead of the national minimum and national living wages rising on 1 April.
From 1 April 2017, the National Living Wage rate for those aged 25 and over will increase by 30p to £7.50 per hour. There will also be increases in the National Minimum Wage for workers and apprentices under the age of 25.
As part of the campaign, BEIS has published a list of ten of the most bizarre excuses used by unscrupulous bosses found to have underpaid workers. The excuses, which have been given to investigators from HMRC, include only wanting to pay staff when there are customers to serve and believing it was acceptable to underpay workers until they had ‘proved’ themselves.
“There are no excuses for underpaying staff what they are legally entitled to,” said business minister Margot James. “This campaign will raise awareness among the lowest paid in society about what they must legally receive and I would encourage anyone who thinks they may be paid less to contact Acas as soon as possible.”