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Government clamps down on minimum wage avoidance


Employers who refuse to pay the minimum wage face increased penalties under a new government policy.

Those who fail to pay minimum wage arrears within seven days of an enforcement notice now face additional fines of £200 per employee. In addition, if prosecuted they face fines of £5,000 plus a criminal record.

Trade and Industry secretary Alistair Darling said: “Workers have the right to a decent minimum wage and we are determined they get it. To those employers avoiding the minimum wage the message is: don’t pay it and you’ll pay the fine.

“In the last year alone the government’s enforcement teams across the UK helped over 25,000 workers get more than £3m back in unpaid wages. The vast majority of good employers need to know they are operating on a level playing field. These measures will help deliver that.”

In cases where workers complain they are not getting the minimum wage, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigates the employer.

If the complaint is upheld and the employer will not pay then he is given a warning to repay the arrears within seven days. Those employers who do not pay within seven days risk a fine.

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