Posted on Aug 30, 2013
A recent government announcement, that stated any unscrupulous employers that fail to pay National Minimum Wage will be named and shamed, has been welcomed by a Tayside lawyer.
Noele McClelland, partner in the employment law team at Thorntons, said: "The new rules, which come into effect from October 2013, come as part of an attempt to clamp down on unethical employers who may be tempted to pay employees below NMW.
"Under current legislation, an employer must owe workers at least £2,000 – and a minimum of £500 per employee – before they can be named. The new rules are to be welcomed as a small minority of employers pay less than NMW and turn a blind eye to immigration status and the right to work in the UK in the knowledge that employees are unlikely to complain.
"Typically it is the most vulnerable people who are on NMW. In the current economic climate, they have been hit hardest, especially due to increased living costs, so if employers do not pay a fair, legal wage this will have an added impact.
"With the introduction of fees in employment tribunals for unpaid wages, employees have to pay £160 to bring a claim forward. Unless they qualify for remission on fees, many will be put off bringing a claim due to the added expense. However what may be a greater impact to such employers is being named and shamed.
"There is also the option of reporting them to HMRC who can take enforcement action including a fine of up to £5,000 and naming and shaming by Bank for International Settlements.
"In contrast a number of employers are looking to introduce the Living Wage of £7.45 outside of London to offer employees a basic standard of living."
30 August 2013