---------- Post added at 15:21 ---------- Previous post was at 15:15 ----------
The large employers play by the rules generally speaking. Maybe they are large because of it.
I wonder how keith feels about the illegal taxis that operate in the west end on a saturday night.........only doing a few hours to get some experience I imagine.
Tobias, this is not a perfect world; if it was we wouldn't need lawyers, (or laws).
Most people start up their own businesses with the best of intentions. Whether they have dreams of being the next ICI or just want to make the best pate in the world somewhere in the back streets of Mansfield.
The odds are against this business suceeding from the start. Verbally encouraged by all countries the actually encouragements are nil, (and mostly taken by subsidiaries of large companies who have the time and personnel to abide by the numerous rules and regulations). But still they do it.
Should they employ staff the amount of paperwork increases exponentially but, hey, they want to grow. In most cases working for start-ups is far more rewarding than working for a big chain - unless security is uppermost in that person's mind - although that is hardly the case anymore.
But the person who started the company may hit problems. He has probably never run a business before, 'help' is not actually there when you need it other than the stock answers which rarely address the problem and usually exacerbate it. Sometimes in the thick of it you can't even see the problem until it is severe.
So what do you do then, pack it all in. Of course not, this is your baby. In any case you are probably unemployable - companies hate people who have run their own businesses - too non-conformist and free-thinking - and the person can find it hard to go back into 'normal' employment. There is a huge stigma in UK society about 'failures' and I am not talking about bankrupts either.
So they fight. And part of this fight may involve things that are illegal. For that person they are fighting for their life. I know what you will say - you have said it frequently enough. In law everything is black and white, in life it isn't. You see a restaurant that is employing illegal practicises, I see a restaurant trying to stay afloat.
In this scenario it is the employees being paid and the employer who is not. It is is his house that secured the bank loans, not the employees. It is the employer who cannot sleep at night because of the worries, not the employees.
I am sure not all restaurants - or small businesses - are like this. I am also sure a lot are. The ones I have personally known are. These people are not criminals - they just made a mistake thinking that U.K. society would allow them a fair chance to make a go of it and allow them to make mistakes.
I am not saying everyone should act like Donald Trump, bankrupting companies with umpunity - but you travel to the US a lot - perhaps the greater tolerance to people making mistakes and the greater flexibility allowed them whilst they are growing is why they have silicon valley and the UK had InMos.
I applaud your efforts to make the world perfect but unfortunately not everyone is playing the game by the same rules so what are doing is hurting people. Sometimes, the exploitive, deserve it. Sometimes, the hard-working dreamer - do not. Do you know which is which?
There is the crux of the matter. The fact is that any employer paying less than the National Minimum Wage is indeed a criminal, and not only that, they are making themselves liable to pay all that backpay to their underpaid employees.These people are not criminals
As regards the action you mention, effectively justifying them breaking the law, consider the effect on all those other businesses, their competitors, who are abiding by the NMW legislation, and now struggling to stay in business because of their illegal competitors.
Have you been talking to my bank manager?
6 months ago I was starting the month with 5 mortgages and 4 rents to pay, or at least that was the way I looked at it. And for some strange reason my own was always last on the list. At that point I decided, as Tobias said, why flog a dead horse? So, over the last few months I had to find a way to "get rid" of a few bodies. It has solved a fair few problems but still don't sleep too well, not nice thinking about the fact you put people on the dole
So now I am 100% legal, as I always felt I was before but feel like a right arse.
Just goes to show profit isn't everything did I say that?????
Jack.......its refreshing to see someone who has some regard for the staff. Can I assume that you consider the staff as an investment in the business and not just another overhead. Sadly I may take the moral high ground but the law is the law.
I need some work doing on my house at the moment. Wish I could find a plasterer who would work for minimum wage.
---------- Post added at 09:47 ---------- Previous post was at 09:41 ----------
An illegal minicab driver is not licensed, does not have the correct insurance, does not have the required vehicle checks, dosen't pay tax and is a danger to the public. So is completely illegal.
Using the OP's example we have a restaurant that is licensed by the local authority, pays business rates, has insurance, pays a casual staff member £2 below the minimum wage for a 6 hour shift but probably gives them some food and a share of the tips. So operates completely legally apart from the cash in hand.
If you can't see a difference then you must be off your rocker.
Thousands and thousands of restaurants all over the country operate like this, so if it's that serious how are they all getting away with it ?
Thanks to everyone for their replies on this evidently divisive issue.
Without going into the rights and wrongs of such working practices my main concern was directly related to whether my wife would be breaking the law (and therefore risking her future in the UK) by accepting payment for work that amounted to less than the minimum wage. It appears that so long as payment for total employment falls below the threshold of £136 per week then she is not personally breaking any laws by taking this 'employment'
All that remains to be seen is a) whether I have been given an accurate understanding of the position and pay in question and b) whether my wife would want to take the role without it clashing with her studies
Just to add fuel to the flames - an Iranian classmate of my wife is paid £22 per night for the same hours of work in a central Leeds (non Thai) restaurant...
Rhichard might I suggest that your Iranian friend uses this The employer is probably trying to use the old tips routine. how many hours does he work for 22 pounds ?
I thought the goverment had put a stop to it.
The Iranian lady works 6 hours for the £22
The question of tips has been raised. Using tips to make up to the NMW has been illegal since 01.10.09, as per this webpage.
Sadly you and I will disagree on many things, I just can't get my head around the black and white view of the world. But it's more positive than sad, it shows we are all different and the fact neither of us are in jail means we both must be right
Or was I born lucky?
Sadly when something goes wrong someone has to pay. I have seen too many people find themselves in deep water because of what was thought of as minor contraventions. A wag or colleague of mine joked that procedures and regs are printed on A4 paper because its the right size to cover our rear ends.
I have no knowledge about Boots, but the situation you are describing is a problem not just for the UK but indeed for the Governments of all developed countries. And a battle those Governments take steps to win, but many consider the multi-national companies are, in the main, winning.Boots for example but there are many more (Insurance companies included as many have registed in the Caribean/Gibratar/Ireland/Switzerland etc)
But those companies are owned by shareholders, and some of those companies will be quoted on Stock Exchanges, and therefore even private investors can benefit from the tax savings.
For example, you decide to form a new company, and intend it to be involved in oil and gas exploration. That exploration might be in a number of different countries, possibly the UK's north sea, offshore Ireland, Poland, Morocco, and even Ethiopia. So question, where are you going to incorporate your brand-new company? If you choose the UK then your worldwide profits will be subject to UK tax. But if you incorporate it in Ireland then yes the profits will be subject to Irish Corporation Tax, but that is at a much lower rate than the rate of UK Corporation Tax.
Even better, you might think, incorporate the company in say BVI .... British Virgin Islands .... where there is no Corporation Tax. You set up separate subsidiary companies in each country of operation, including one for the UK's north sea operation, and should that operation be profitable, yes tax would be paid to the UK exchequer, but only on the profits from the UK operation, not on worldwide profits.
All that benefits the shareholders, wherever in the world they are. If you did a survey of AIM stocks in the oil & gas industry, you would find the great majority are not incorporated in the UK, and many are not involved in exploration in the UK, so no possibility of the UK exchequer getting any tax revenues, except possibly some Capital Gains Tax if UK shareholders sell shares at a profit.
Get the idea? And would you do any different if you were in that situation?
That's exactly what I was refering to (Boots was an example but there are many) The big corporate companies will do this and why not if it is legal its the small taxpayers who will lose out as the government of whatever country will have to make the loss of revenue,