The Welsh Trades Union Congress (TUC) is calling on the government to revise methods of minimum wage enforcement which it says is failing to prevent rogue employers from flouting the laws.
According to Wales TUC, 95 per cent of bosses caught underpaying the minimum wage simply pay back what they owe. The concern is that there is no incentive for employers to pay the minimum wage because they can simply wait until they are caught breaking the law before paying up.
Wales TUC general secretary, Felicity Williams said: “Government needs to come down far harder on unscrupulous employers who are consistently flouting the law and underpaying their workers. Wales TUC wants Government to introduce an immediate penalty of £100 per worker for all employers caught failing to pay the minimum wage.”
The body also believe that the maximum fine of £5,000 for minimum wage offences should be greatly increased and that all arrears should be calculated at the current rate of the minimum wage which is £5.35 for adult workers (age 22 and above), £4.45 for the 18-21 year old workers and £3.30 for 16-17 year old workers, no matter when they are accrued.
In a mark of support, Wales TUC applauded government proposals to strengthen the enforcement regime for Employment Agency Standards (EAS) inspectors. Measures include increasing the EAS powers of access and inspection to enable them to do their jobs more effectively and allowing for offences to be tried in the crown court rather than the magistrates’ courts.