01 November 2013
A survey has shown that 80% of people would refuse to buy the services or products of a business if they found out the firm was underpaying its staff.
This shows just how passionate the British are about employment rights, with 90% of those responding to the government-commissioned study describing companies that do not pay at least the minimum wage “a disgrace”.
But despite the outrage the issue blatantly causes among the general population, the actions of the government to enforce the law are weak compared with those that punish workers.
Employers who do not comply with National Minimum Wage law are described as “at particular risk of a financial penalty and being publically named”.
As such employers are lawbreakers, the Institute of Employment Rights (IER) believes they should be subject to the same punishment as those who commit criminal offences, rather than simply embarrassed by the government’s latest ‘name and shame’ scheme.
Indeed, even the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ press release on the research, released today (01 November 2013), focused on the negative impact on business productivity of underpaying workers, rather than offering a harsh reminder to employers that they have a responsibility to obey the law and a responsibility for their workers.