Wages wagon arrives in Glasgow

Workers in Scotland could benefit from a new government campaign to boost awareness of the national minimum wage (NMW) and help expose cases of underpayment.

The nationwide campaign reached Glasgow and its environs this week, with the arrival of the ‘£5.52: Are you on board?’ NMW tour bus.

Over three months, the bus is travelling to more than 30 towns and cities across the UK offering free advice and information about the minimum wage as well as access to online and phone support.

It’s estimated that 110,000 workers in Scotland benefited from the national minimum wage uprating last October, which saw the rate increase to £5.52 for people aged 22 and over, £3.40 for 16-17 year olds, £4.60 for 18- 21 year olds.

‘We want to make sure that workers understand their rights and that employers are aware of their responsibilities,’ said David Cairns, minister of state at the Scotland Office. ‘The majority of employers do treat their workers well, but those who don’t pay the minimum wage are not only cheating workers, they’re also undercutting honest businesses.’

The Department for Business, which is funding the campaign, hopes the bus will reach almost 800,000 people during its journey.

Workers visiting the bus will be able to use the tools provided on board to work out if they’re being paid correctly, or to make a complaint if they have concerns, which enforcement officers will investigate.

In 2006, national minimum wage enforcement officers helped return almost £427,000 in wages to nearly 800 workers in Scotland who had been underpaid by their employers.