Scottish Affairs Committee
London: TSO, 2009 (House of Commons papers, session 2008/09; HC 380)
On 22 March 2009 the Sunday Times published an article on the number of Scottish businesses breaking national minimum wage regulations based on figures released by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The hospitality, social care and hairdressing industries in particular were shown to be the sectors with the highest number of employers caught paying less than the national wage. This report by the Scottish Affairs Committee (the Committee) includes evidence from representatives from those sectors and highlights the issues raised. The Committee are concerned that the sectors with the highest levels of non-compliance in Scotland have not shown a reduction in the numbers of complaints received despite the efforts of the Government to raise awareness of the national minimum wage. They conclude that more needs to be done by the relevant sectors, HMRC and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to publicise both the rates of the national minimum wage and the penalties that exist for non-compliance. The Government must assess whether further targeted enforcement campaigns would be worthwhile and must work on this with representatives of the sectors with the highest levels of non-compliance. A system of naming and shaming employers who are found to be non-compliant would be a further disincentive to break the law. It would also enable consumers to have greater confidence that the services they are paying for are fully compliant with national minimum wage legislation.