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December 24, 2007    

Thousands of employees not receiving minimum wage

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by Kay Murchie

A survey for union organisation the TUC has established that thousands of workers are not receiving the minimum wage. Approximately 150,000 workers are not receiving the £5.52 an hour for adults and £4.60 for 18 to 21-year-olds.

The TUC said it had been contacted by a homeworker and a Polish person working in a pizza store who were being paid between £2 and £3 an hour.

Those most likely to be underpaid tend to work in restaurants, hotels, cleaning, hairdressing and childcare.

In early December, ministers said firms will face fines with the most serious cases of non-compliance tried in a Crown Court.
The TUC said the exploitation was ‘unacceptable’, particularly at this time of year when people are under severe financial strain.

Brendan Barber of the TUC said there should be no hiding place for bosses who are deliberately cheating their workers out of the minimum wage.

Mr Barber added that employers can be reported to the minimum wage helpline on 0845 6000 678. He said anyone that knows somebody who is not being paid the minimum wage, now is the time to tell them.

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