Workers urged to check they are paid National Minimum Wage

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With a month to go until Christmas Day people starting seasonal jobs are being urged to check that they are being paid at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

This is particularly important for workers in Cardiff, Liverpool, Nottingham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Birmingham, as workers in these areas are amongst those most likely to be paid the NMW.

New research from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) reveals that 71 percent of workers check their pay slip every time they get one, so those impacted by the recent rise in minimum wage should have noticed it straight away. However, the remaining 29 percent should check to ensure they are being paid at least the minimum wage.

In the UK, 1.25 million workers currently earn the National Minimum Wage and should have experienced an increase in their pay packets since the minimum wage rates were increased on 1 October 2014.

Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson said: “All workers are entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage regardless of how many hours they work or how long they have worked for an employer. With minimum wage rates having recently increased, and with employers looking for temporary staff to deal with their Christmas rush, we want to encourage workers to check their payslips.

“Our research shows that 82 percent of workers who don’t think they’re getting paid at least the National Minimum Wage wouldn’t approach their boss about it. Any workers looking to make a complaint or for more information should contact the free and confidential Pay and Work Rights Helpline.”

The research also showed that 81 percent of all workers find it difficult to talk to their boss about pay. This is ahead of discussing promotions (53 percent), working hours (48 percent) and working conditions (44 percent).

The top three actions workers would find helpful include:

  1. Employers providing clear guidelines on their wages (24 percent)
  2. The HR department running a session explaining hours, rates and pay slip calculations to boost their knowledge (20 percent)
  3. A clear breakdown of their hours and wages on their payslip (17 percent)

The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour workers are entitled to by law.

A further 25 employers who failed to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage have been named.

All workers are entitled to earn the minimum wage. If workers are unsure about whether they are being paid at least the National Minimum Wage, they should call the Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368 or visit www.gov.uk for free and confidential advice and information.

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  1. Whereas the message of the article is vitally important, it’s lessoned significantly by new figures that revealed that not a single company has been prosecuted in the past year for paying less than the national minimum wage. Indeed, the last successful criminal prosecution was in February 2013. That was one of only two prosecutions during the Coalition’s entire term of office to date, according to figures given to parliament.

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