Pay workers well or face the law, employers warned

Here’s what to do if you are not getting the National Minimum Wage 5th February 2009: Minister for London Tony McNulty warned all the employers who would be caught underpaying their workers to expect stiff penalties.

Mr. McNulty said this as the national campaign to help boost workers’ awareness of the increased national minimum wage comes to London for its final events this week.

He revealed that the national minimum wage has had a huge and lasting impact on the lives of millions of UK workers over the last ten years.

The "It’s Your Call" campaign was launched in Downing Street by Business secretary Lord Mandelson in November and has toured the UK over the last three months creating awareness among the workers on their rights and how they should report any case of underpayment.

“This campaign is giving the most vulnerable workers the face to face advice and support they need, so they can take action where necessary.” Lord Mandelson said.

Campaign roadshow with advice and support from national minimum wage experts are being held at Hackney Town Hall on Friday 6th February and Willesden Green Library Centre on Saturday 7th February.

The visitors will have a chance to meet local people who will tell their stories of underpayment and the help they received tackling wage abuse.

Royal Assent for the Employment Act has paved the way for new penalties to come into force in April, as part of government’s crackdown on those who try to exploit workers.

The changes introduce unlimited fines for non-compliance for the most serious cases, removing the maximum limit of £5,000.

On 1st October 2008, rates rose to £5.73 for workers aged 22 and over;£4.77 for 18-21 year olds and £3.53 for those aged 16 and 17.

Anyone worried they may not be getting the National Minimum Wage can call the NMW helpline on 0845 6000 678. Support is offered in more than 100 languages and callers can remain anonymous if they wish.

By Stephen Ogongo

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