Research has revealed some alarming truths about breaches of employment rights.
A preliminary report by Unpaid Britain – a project established by Middlesex University Business School – has looked at the British labour market, with a particular focus on London. Its findings include:
- One in 12 workers doesn’t receive a pay slip.
- One in 20 workers said they don’t get paid holiday.
- An estimated £1.2 billion of wages, and a further £1.5 billion of holiday pay, is unpaid every year.
- On 23,000 occasions in a year, the impact of unpaid or delayed wages is so bad that workers are left without food.
The report talks about two types of offenders. There are those employers that repeatedly fail to pay quite small amounts like holiday pay (‘little and often’). Then there are those one-off, ‘episodic’ failures to pay amounts that are due to, for example, a departing employee, or to employees in the run-up to the company’s insolvency.
The report also highlights the fact that there are few barriers to the ongoing cycle of non-compliance with employment rights. ‘Directors of half the companies found to have defaulted on wages and subsequently been dissolved are back in business as directors of other companies,’ the report says. There is a desperate need, the report goes on, for better coordination of official data on those serial offenders.
You can access the full report here [LINK here to http://www.mdx.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/371017/Weighted-scales-Unpaid-Britain-Interim-report.pdf?bustCache=15096591 ].