Bad Bosses Give Worst Excuses Ever For Not Paying Minimum Wage

By Holly Brockwell on at

Most of us have, at some point in our lives, run into a boss who thinks the rules don't apply to them. But a new HMRC report shows that some really take pride in flouting the rules, giving some truly jaw-dropping reasons for not paying their employees the legally-mandated minimum wage.

Excuses included:

  • 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.
  • 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’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.
  • 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.

Lord help the poor employees working for these people.

The National Minimum Wage starts at just £4 an hour for under 18s (£3.40 for apprentices) and goes up to £7.20 for people over 25. As of April this year, that'll go up to £7.50. The rules are pretty clear about who qualifies and how to work it out, and unsurprisingly "they're foreign" isn't on the list of exemptions. Shocker.

Read the full list of excuses here, and then maybe give your boss a hug. [Gov.uk via The Guardian]

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