Published on 1st February 2008
A new nationwide Government campaign was launched late in January to boost awareness of the national minimum wage (NMW) and help expose cases of underpayment. The '£5.52: Are you on board?' NMW tour bus, is set to travel to more than 30 towns and cities across the UK over three months, offering free help and information about the minimum wage.
Minister for Employment Relations, Pat McFadden says:
"Every worker should earn a fair wage for a fair day's work. We want to make sure workers know their rights and employers know their responsibilities.
The National Minimum Wage remains one of the most important new rights introduced by this Government. Employers who don't pay the minimum wage are not only cheating workers, they're undercutting honest businesses.
The Department for Business, which is funding the campaign, hopes the bus will reach almost 800,000 people during its journey.
Workers visiting the bus will be able to use the tools provided on board to work out if they're being paid correctly, or to make a complaint if they have concerns, which enforcement officers will investigate. The confidential NMW helpline (0845 6000 678) accepts calls and enquiries from workers (which can be anonymous), employers and any other interested parties, such as independent advisors. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. In Northern Ireland the helpline number is 0845 6500 207.
In addition to the awareness campaign, the Government has also announced a range of tough new measures to crack down on rogue bosses who refuse to pay the national minimum wage, including potentially unlimited penalties for the most serious offenders and stronger powers for inspectors to investigate evidence of wrong-doing.
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