Tag Archives: maximum

Revealed: most bizarre excuses for underpaying staff the National Minimum Wage

This would be hilarious if it wasn’t so shocking. These are real excuses made by UK companies in order to withhold the minimum wage from employees.

How much do the bosses take home?

This is another argument in favour of Jeremy Corbyn’s maximum wage ratio, I think.

Sadly, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills did not see fit to tell us which companies provided these excuses.

The list below has been published by the Government to coincide with the launch of a new £1.7 million campaign, which aims to encourage employers to check workers are being paid at least the statutory minimum.

Some of the worst excuses for dodging the minimum wage include:

  • The employee wasn’t a good worker so I didn’t think they deserved to be paid the National Minimum Wage.
  • It’s part of UK culture not to pay young workers for the first 3 months as they have to prove their ‘worth’ first.
  • 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.
  • She doesn’t deserve the National Minimum Wage because she only makes the teas and sweeps the floors.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • My employee is still learning so they aren’t entitled to the National Minimum Wage.
  • The National Minimum Wage doesn’t apply to my business.

Source: Revealed: most bizarre excuses for underpaying staff the National Minimum Wage

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How to upset super-rich exploiters: The maximum wage

Small change: That’s all employees can hope to get while company executives retain sole power to determine pay.

It seems to This Writer that Jeremy Corbyn has struck a nerve, here.

All he had to do was mention the possibility that Labour might introduce rules limiting executive pay in relation to that of the lowest-paid employee and a storm of protest arose – from the high-paid, the privileged, and the ‘entitled’.

It is exactly as This Site stated a couple of days ago – and as Shadow Business Secretary Clive Lewis has pointed out in an article in the Mirror.

“It’s a strange country indeed where the fact that top bosses earn more in two and half days than most people earn all year causes less outrage than a proposal to limit pay at the top. I suggest looking more closely at who was causing the uproar,” he wrote, echoing my own words.

He pointed out that claims that everybody benefits when the rich get richer are nonsense: “The wealth isn’t trickling down, it’s flooding up”.

Higher pay rates mean CEO’s are causing instability by leaving after only short tenures: “They are cashing in rather than aiding the long-term growth of the company.”

There is no point in ‘naming and shaming’ companies whose bosses take huge salaries and incentives while employees have to claim in-work benefits to survive, because: “You can’t shame the shameless.”

Publication of Directors’ pay was originally intended to shame companies into restraining pay, but has had the opposite effect, encouraging companies to compete with each other on pay. And those that might want to act find they can’t – because they would be paying less than the going rate, attracting nobody.

So it is the duty of government to act in the name of the majority.

Perhaps the only serious criticism of the plan to limit firstly the pay of private companies carrying out contracted-out work for the government, so that bosses earn a maximum of 20 times their lowest-paid employees, is that the traditional way of rebalancing inequality is via tax.

Why can’t taxation be used to address the issue, as Joseph Harker asked in The Guardian?

The simple answer is that it can – but not on its own.

If rich executives were taxed extra, solely to fund in-work benefits for the poor, they would bitch like hell that their money was being stolen and given away as handouts for the undeserving.

It would be a lie, but it’s one they like to use.

The Tories also like to claim that the higher-paid would simply find ways to avoid paying tax if the rate was higher than it is now – which is why they have been merrily cutting back the amount that they and their rich friends contribute.

No – pay needs to be re-balanced so that working people receive the amount they deserve.

Has anybody ever explained what company executives do that is so deserving of – what is it now? – 180 times as much remuneration as the people who actually generate their firm’s profits? Anyone?

Taxation is appropriate, as Mr Lewis writes – but only in conjunction with fair pay ratios. A higher tax rate for people earning obscene amounts could only be seen as fair if it is combined with tax breaks for firms that offer fair pay. It has been suggested that such businesses could even be rewarded with a British Standards ‘kite mark’.

So the idea of a maximum pay level, set at a certain multiple of minimum pay at any given firm, is sound.

Suspicion should not be heaped on Jeremy Corbyn, Clive Lewis and Labour for suggesting it.

It is not an unrealistic idea, as many have claimed – in fact several other countries have already implemented it, but your bosses probably didn’t want you to know that. Take a look at this Skwawkbox article for details.

Instead, let us place blame for the current situation where it is due – on the corporate mouthpieces who try to suppress any action that may hinder their rampant, naked greed.

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If we examine who is complaining about Corbyn’s maximum wage idea, we’ll know why

Jeremy Corbyn said a maximum wage was needed ‘if we want to live in a more egalitarian society and fund our public services’ [Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA].

Isn’t it interesting how the media have latched onto what is actually a well-known Jeremy Corbyn preference, and tried to make it seem loony?

Mr Corbyn has been saying he wants legislation to describe a maximum wage for the highest earners, at least since he became leader of the Labour Party in 2015.

Suddenly it is big news, and his own earnings of £138,000 a year were plastered all over our TV screens during the morning reports – a lot when compared to yours or mine, perhaps, but a paltry sum next to those of the company execs who earned more than all of us, including Mr Corbyn, by the end of last week.

Some boardroom suits take home around £5 million every year; some take more. Meanwhile they force employees onto starvation wages that mean they have to claim from the benefit system to survive. Do you think that is reasonable? Because I don’t.

Reporters pressed Mr Corbyn to explain what he thought the maximum wage should be – but this is a diversionary tactic to make it seem silly, and completely misses the point.

Why should a maximum wage be a set figure? Surely it should depend on a company’s turnover and the amount the lowest-paid employees receive, shouldn’t it?

And what about those of us who aren’t part of a company but earn every penny we make by our own efforts?

What about movie stars? A particular name on a film poster can make a huge difference to its takings, and that can depend on the pay packet they receive. If everybody involved will get more as a result of their involvement, why not offer them the big bucks?

Other commentators have already suggested a ratio between the lowest-earning members of a business and those at the top. But it would be unfair to pluck arbitrary figures out of the air.

Logically, an organisation would need to be set up, if one did not exist already (the High Pay Centre, anyone?) to arrive at a logical set of terms for maximum pay.

Demanding figures from a politician in the middle of an off-the-cuff interview is unrealistic.

That’s why they do it, of course.

Jeremy Corbyn has called for a maximum wage for the highest earners, saying he fears Brexit will see the UK become a “grossly unequal, bargain basement economy”.

The Labour leader would not give specific figures, but said radical action was needed to address inequality. “I would like there to be some kind of high earnings cap, quite honestly,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday.

When asked at what level the cap should be set, he replied: “I can’t put a figure on it and I don’t want to at the moment. The point I’m trying to make is that we have the worst levels of income disparity of most of the OECD countries.

“It is getting worse. And corporate taxation is a part of it. If we want to live in a more egalitarian society, and fund our public services, we cannot go on creating worse levels of inequality.”

Corbyn, who earns about £138,000 a year, later told Sky News he anticipated any maximum wage would be “somewhat higher than that”.

Source: Jeremy Corbyn calls for maximum wage law | Politics | The Guardian

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