Britain’s government on Wednesday released a list of excuses offered by employers as to why they tried to avoid paying their staff the legal minimum wage.
A government statement listed the top 10 excuses used by some bosses to explain why they did not pay staff aged over 25 the minimum £7.20 ($8.75) per hour, as required by law.
“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,” said one.
“The national minimum wage doesn’t apply to my business,” was another excuse.
Another employer tried to claim that the minimum wage did not apply to non-British workers. Yet another said they had made their staff sign a contract forgoing the minimum wage.
Business Minister Margot James warned Britain’s estimated 1.5 million minimum wage workers on Wednesday to check their salaries.
“There are no excuses for underpaying staff what they are legally entitled to,” James said in a statement.
The U.K. government has launched a new £1.7 million ($2.0 million) campaign to raise awareness of citizens’ employment rights.
“This campaign will raise awareness among the lowest paid in society about what they must legally receive and I would encourage anyone who thinks they may be paid less to contact Acas [the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service] as soon as possible,” James said. The U.K. national minimum wage — introduced in 1998 — will go up to £7.50 an hour on 1 April.