Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook


A 220 page introduction to all things consumer related by our own BankFodder.

Includes energy companies, mobile phone providers, retailers, banks, insurance companies,debt collection agencies, reclaim companies, secondhand car sellers, cowboy garages, cowboy builders and all the rest who put their own profits before you.

£6.99



Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)


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  1. #1
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    Default Businesses found to be routiney underpaying wages and holiday pay

    Large numbers of employers are it seems now in the habit of shortchanging their staff as a deliberate strategy to increase profits. At least 2 million workers a year in the UK are being cheated of pay they are owed. This estimate of the scale of wages theft comes from a new report from researchers at Middlesex University, which puts the value of the lost pay at over 3bn a year.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...-cheated-wages

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Businesses found to be routiney underpaying wages and holiday pay

    It has always been so but the employment sectors have changed somewhat over the years. In most of the examples given I doubt if the driving force behind it is the increase of profits and for most small businesses a mxture of ignorance and insolvency would be the main reasons.
    My brother, the eponymous Eric had a job this week where he was to do a tiling job at a property and when he got there the people had managed to flood the bathroom and kitchen by using a shower that was in the process of ebing installed. He than had to work for 16 hours to make good. Now as self employed that day earnt him 60 for the original quoted minor job ( pensioner rate but by then included rebuilding an external wall!) but he employs others so essentially he forced them to work longer than allowed and the quoted price no longer covered his costs. You can then see why many people would consider employing Romanians on no proper employment contracts at rates less then the min wage so they manage to get these jobs with low tenders on a regular basis.


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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ericsbrother View Post
    It has always been so but the employment sectors have changed somewhat over the years. In most of the examples given I doubt if the driving force behind it is the increase of profits and for most small businesses a mxture of ignorance and insolvency would be the main reasons.
    My brother, the eponymous Eric had a job this week where he was to do a tiling job at a property and when he got there the people had managed to flood the bathroom and kitchen by using a shower that was in the process of ebing installed. He than had to work for 16 hours to make good. Now as self employed that day earnt him 60 for the original quoted minor job ( pensioner rate but by then included rebuilding an external wall!) but he employs others so essentially he forced them to work longer than allowed and the quoted price no longer covered his costs. You can then see why many people would consider employing Romanians on no proper employment contracts at rates less then the min wage so they manage to get these jobs with low tenders on a regular basis.
    Whilst I agree with the basic points you are making, I don't agree with the premises.

    In your brothers shoes, my response would have been that the damage was caused by the fault of the client, so either they accepted the new quote or he walked. And as a client that would be my expectation if I'd been that daft!

    But I don't think that, broadly speaking, ignorance is any defence- and it also often isn't true, employers know exactly what they are doing. If you murder someone, you don't get to say that you didn't know it was against the law. Do it in another country, and you can't argue against the death penalty by saying that you didn't know there was one because the UK doesn't have it. I'm quite happy to berate employees for stupidity and ignorance and downright obvious fault, despite being a union of official. If they are in the wrong that is their own fault, and being adult means taking responsibility.

    But the same applies to employers. And the current law makes me sick. Large employers with HR and legal teams routinely cheat the low paid quite knowingly. They aren't ignorant about what they are doing. And actually, so do a lot of small employers. Phoenixing is common with small employers - you can't do that without knowing exactly what you are doing. The protections of limited liability are too all embracing. I'm assuming that your brother is perfectly capable of working out simple things like paying the legal wage, dismissing someone fairly, and not running up bills that he can't pay? Any person in business should be able to. The answer is relatively simple - give employers an incentive to get things right. If they break the law, then they are personally liable for their actions; and any property or assets that belonged to them at the time of the breach becomes subject to seizure. Then they can either insure themselves against loss, or pay up.

    Why should employers enjoy protections that you don't? If you break the law there are consequences. If you run up debts you can't pay there are consequences - even if, at the time you got into debt, you could manage that debt. You don't get any excuses. Why should employers, simply because they can hide behind limited liability status? Employers exist to make profits and become rich. The people who make that happen are workers. Yet all the risk falls on them, although seldom does the benefit go to them.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Businesses found to be routiney underpaying wages and holiday pay

    I dont disagree but the article makes much of cases regarding very small enterprises and was offering an example of why it may be tempting for some to try their luck when their competitors are disobeying the law anyway. What the article fails to highlight is the same issues with big employers such as Amazonicon or entire employment sectors such as the building trade or care industries. I could also add the catering and cleaning done by outsourcing companies in most of the public sector. The only way they could continue to make any money when the MW came in was to break the law and that was ignored by the management cadre of our great institutions just to push a political objective rather than creating a money saving exercise. You wont see a hospital CE being held accountable and local councils are not lining up to seek judicial reviews of the orders from govt in regard to the crooked tendering process.

    As for Eric, yes he could have done things differently but it turns out the customers had dementia so the things they did wrong seemed perfectly normal to them. He just couldnt bring himself to speak to them about it so got on with things. As for the people who work for him, well of course they are employed properly and have worked together on occasions for the past 30 years (building trade is fairly transient so you tend to move in similar circles) He left the building trade some years ago but has wound up his other business as it was unviable to continue so back with something he vowed never to do again.



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