The government has published the Employment Bill which aims to introduce tougher penalties for employers who pay less than the minimum wage and to protect agency workers.
The Bill proposes to increase the maximum penalty for paying staff less than the national minimum wage or employment agency offences from £5,000 to an unlimited fine. The most serious cases of non-compliance will be tried in a Crown Court, which will have the power to impose an effectively unlimited penalty.
Pat McFadden, employment relations minister, said: “The national minimum wage was a key right this government introduced to ensure workers were paid fairly. These changes would make sure everyone who is caught not paying their workers will be punished, with the potential for unlimited fines.
“No business should be allowed to get away with unfairly undercutting legitimate operators by exploiting workers.”