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Scottish employers exploit workers

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Scottish workers are mostly exploited by their employers who violate the law refusing to pay them the minimum wage, a new study has revealed.

A recent survey conducted by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has revealed that over fifty percent of its advisors believe breaching the Minimum Wage Law is quite common among Scottish employers, especially those who run hotels, restaurants, and cafes.
“The minimum wage has been law for more than 10 years, but a significant number of employers are refusing to pay it, and as a result workers are exploited on illegal wages,” said Susan McPhee, the Head of Social Policy and Public Affairs at CAS. Moreover, McPhee criticised the government for its failure to follow proper strategies in order to raise public awareness, which has left numerous workers unaware of their rights.
“All political parties accept the principle of a minimum wage, but it seems some employers believe the law is optional. Our experience shows many workers are unaware of their rights or lack confidence in how to fight for them,” she added.
The National Minimum Wage Law requires employers to pay a minimum hourly wage of £6.08 to workers aged over 21, £4.98 to those aged between 18 and 21, and £3.68 to 16 and 17-yearolds.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which is responsible for issuing notices of underpayment to the employers who violate the law, has issued around 1,200 notices over the short span of time between April 1, 2010, and March 31, 2011. Furthermore, a spokesman for HMRC acknowledged that “over £42 million in wage arrears has been identified since April 1999.”

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