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Most bizarre excuses for underpaying staff the National Minimum Wage…



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1. The employee wasn’t a good worker so I didn’t think they deserved to be paid the National Minimum Wage.
2. It’s part of UK culture not to pay young workers for the first 3 months as they have to prove their ‘worth’ first.
3. I thought it was ok to pay foreign workers below the National Minimum Wage as they aren’t British and therefore don’t have the right to be paid it.
4. She doesn’t deserve the National Minimum Wage because she only makes the teas and sweeps the floors.
5. I’ve got an agreement with my workers that I won’t pay them the National Minimum Wage; they understand and they even signed a contract to this effect.
6. My accountant and I speak a different language – he doesn’t understand me and that’s why he doesn’t pay my workers the correct wages.
7. My workers like to think of themselves as being self-employed and the National Minimum Wage doesn’t apply to people who work for themselves.
8. My workers are often just on standby when there are no customers in the shop; I only pay them for when they’re actually serving someone.
9. My employee is still learning so they aren’t entitled to the National Minimum Wage.
10. The National Minimum Wage doesn’t apply to my business.

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Information and Advice Resources, Age UK

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11. Because we issue zero-hours contracts so we can make people do what we want, when we want, how we want and the government has rather usefully introduced Universal Credit to ensure that the employee doesn’t have any choice in the matter.

Whoops, sorry, that’s not a bizarre excuse but the actual truth….

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Welfare Rights Adviser Southwark Law Centre Peckham

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12. Because I am a media creative with a dodgy beard and have a load of my mates’ kids on ‘internships’ running round doing the scut work. National Minimum Wage? Don’t make me laugh - I don’t pay them at all.

As Paul said…

Benny Fitzpatrick
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Welfare Rights Officer, Southway Housing Trust, Manchester

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13) Because no action will be taken against us, despite what the law says.