Bosses ducking minimum wage should face justice, says TUC

200 companies were just 'named and shamed' by the government


Employers who do not pay workers minimum wage should be prosecuted, the head of the Trades Union Congress has said.

Frances O’Grady was responding to the government’s ‘naming and shaming’ 200 companies ducking the minimum wage.

She called the list ‘eye-watering’ and called for the worst offenders to be brought to justice under the law, saying there should be ‘nowhere to hide’ for bosses not paying minimum wage.

The list – the largest of it’s kind ever released – was hailed by business minister Margot James as part of Theresa May’s pledge to ‘build an economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged few’.

The worst offender was San Lorenzo restaurant in Wimbledon, which owes 30 employees nearly £100,000.

O’Grady said:

‘Bosses who try to duck the minimum wage must have nowhere to hide.

It is deeply disappointing to see so many companies fail to honour their basic obligations to their workers. The level of underpayment in some cases is truly eye-watering.

Ministers are absolutely right to name and shame these companies, but we also need to see prosecutions for the worst offenders.’

The release of the list follows news that homecare workers are being denied minimum wage for their care for the elderly and vulnerable.

Earlier this week, the High Pay Centre revealed FTSE 100 CEOs were making ten per cent more than last year, and taking home on average £5.5 million per year. Only a quarter of these companies pay workers a Living Wage.

Labour Party leadership candidate Owen Smith said:

‘What a roll call of dishonour this list provides.

It’s disgraceful that employers are getting away with paying workers less than the minimum wage and the Tories clearly don’t care enough to take serious action.’

He added:

If Britain continues to have such terrible rights for workers these abuses will continue.

And of the millions of people who suffer from low pay and insecurity in the workplace, it’s women who inevitably carry the biggest burden.’

The minimum wage is currently £7.20 for people over 25 years old, but falls to as low as £3.87 for under-18s.

The government has introduced a ‘National Living Wage’ of £7.20 an hour, but the Living Wage Foundation recommends a real living wage of £8.25, and £9.40 in London.

See: People don’t have money to spend – and the government won’t act

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