Philip Hammond's reported plans to introduce the World's highest minimum wage at £9.61 and Jeremy Corbyn's pledge of a £10 minimum wage for all may be welcomed by workers and worry businesses but unless the law is complied with and it is paid the figure becomes an irrelevance.
A new report by the Low Pay Commission (LPC) - Non-compliance and enforcement of the National Minimum Wage - has found that, in April 2018, 439,000 people were paid less than the hourly minimum wage they were entitled to, a 2% increase on the previous year. The report also demonstrated that women are more likely to be underpaid than men, and the youngest and oldest workers are also more likely to be underpaid. Childcare is the occupation with the highest proportion of underpaid workers, with the largest numbers of underpaid individuals working in hospitality, retail and cleaning and maintenance.
The LPC have made a number of recommendations to address this issue. This includes continuing efforts by the Government to educate both workers and employers on the minimum wage, promoting the confidence of workers in the complaints process and working with trade unions to understand the current barriers to reporting. In addition, also recommended are the provision of good guidance and restarting the naming and shaming of employers who do not pay minimum wage to keep the issue in the public domain. 2019/20 Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates can be found here