19 Days Remaining

Saturday 25th
posted by Peter Lazenby in Britain

BOSSES are cheating tens of thousands of apprentices out of thea minimum wage, even though their rate is just £3.50 an hour.

A new study published yesterday found 135,000 apprentices in England are being paid less than the minimum.

The figures were revealed through a freedom of information request submitted by the TUC young workers’ forum.

Forum chairman Craig Dawson said that £3.50 per hour is already “a shockingly low wage, and the evidence shows that too many apprentices aren’t paid even that.

“The government is failing in its duty to protect apprentices from bad bosses who exploit them.”

The data also showed “fewer than five” bosses had been prosecuted for breaking minimum wage laws in the 18 months to June, and that “enforcement notices” were issued instead.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Thousands of apprentices are getting shafted on pay day.

“Their minimum wage is only £3.50, yet some Scrooge-like bosses are failing to pay even that measly amount.

“Good apprenticeships can really kick-start a career. That’s why we need to make sure every apprentice has a worthwhile experience on decent pay.”

Mr Dawson submitted two freedom of information requests. The first found that there had been fewer than five prosecutions between January 1 2016 and June 19 this year.

The second request, for the number of apprentices involved in enforcement cases, was refused on cost grounds. The TUC wants the second figure to be made available in future.

More than a quarter (26 per cent) of minimum wage cases involve apprentices, despite them making up only 3 per cent of employees.