Hospitality workers in the hotel, restaurant and bar sectors are most likely to be cheated out of the minimum wage by unscrupulous employers, according to a report by the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
The report claims that 1.5 million workers are being cheated out of the national minimum wage (NMW), which was introduced in April 1999.
It also claims that workers most likely to be affected are in London, the North West and Merseyside, or the South East, and employed in hotels, bars and restaurants.
Although last year £3.9m was recovered from law-breaking bosses, the TUC estimates that hundreds of thousands of workers are still taking less money home than the law says they should be.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “TUC research suggests that there are at least 1.5 million workers across the UK who are still losing out. This shows the need for continued public funding for the national minimum wage helpline which allows people to make a complaint about an employer they suspect is not paying the minimum wage.
“There must be no hiding place for rogue bosses. Our guide aims to make it easier for unions and advice agencies to root them out and ensure everyone gets the wage to which they are legally entitled.”
The TUC has today published an updated edition of its enforcement guide, Enforcing the National Minimum Wage, in a bid to track down rogue employers who are deliberately avoiding paying their adult staff £5.73 an hour.
The NMW is: £5.73 for workers aged 22 and over; £4.77 for workers aged 18; and £3.53 for workers under 18.