Vince Cable raises fine for failing to pay minimum wage to £20,000 per worker

We’ve known for some time that the Coalition has been intending to raise the penalty on rogue employers who don’t pay the National Minimum Wage. What we didn’t know is that Vince Cable is actually making the proposed £20,000 fine payable for every single worker who doesn’t receive the legal amount.

Vince is quoted in today’s Guardian:

Anyone entitled to the national minimum wage should receive it. Paying anything less than this is unacceptable, illegal and will be punished by law. So we are bringing in tougher financial penalties to crack down on those who do not play by the rules. The message is clear – if you break the law, you will face action.

As well as higher penalties, we have made it easier to name and shame employers who fail to pay their workers what they are due. We are working with HM Revenue and Customs to investigate non-compliance and facilitate prosecutions in the most serious of cases. We will also make sure that every complaint made to the free and confidential pay and work rights helpline is looked at.

The national minimum wage plays an important role in supporting low-paid workers whilst making sure they can still find work. Enforcing this is a key to fairness in our workforce.

This is clearly another thing to add to the list of “Good things that are happening because the Liberal Democrats are in Government.” It’s good to see that the fine is being set at a level which really should deter employers from failing to meet their legal obligations.

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6 Comments

  • Peter Andrews 15th Jan '14 - 9:06pm

    Its all very well increasing the punishment but if there is little or no enforcement and little chance of getting caught then all you have done is slightly raise the risk of not paying NMW

    There are far too many companies out there effectively employing people but forcing them to register as self employed and so avoiding NMW laws and also NI and PAYE.

    We need some form of proper enforcement in this area

  • Does anyone know how many prosecutions there have been to date or how many people work on enforcing this? I have a suspicion it is single figures in both cases.

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