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It's your call reaches more than 50,000

It's your call reaches more than 50,000
 
The government's national "It's Your Call" campaign has reached more than 50,000 people in its drive to ensure workers and employers know their National Minimum Wage rights and responsibilities.
 
The campaign was launched by Business Secretary Lord Mandelson in Downing Street in November and staged roadshows in 27 towns and cities across the UK.
 
More than 53,000 leaflets were issued, including over 5,000 to employers. Roadshow staff had in-depth discussions with more than 15,000 workers, giving them expert advice on wage rates and how to take action if they had been underpaid.
 
Employment Relations Minister Pat McFadden said:
 
"Over one million workers benefited from the national minimum wage rise in October and I am determined to ensure people know about their entitlements and that they are properly enforced.
 
"Advice given to workers at the roadshows will be vital for those who have been underpaid and need to know how to report underpayment.
 
"The vast majority of businesses know their responsibilities and treat staff fairly, but the small number who try to exploit their employees are flouting the law and in so doing, cheating their competitors."
 
Roadshow Manager Josh Connor said:
 
"The NMW "It's Your Call" campaign has been very rewarding for both myself and my team - to be able to offer genuine help to a great many people made it a very worthwhile venture.
 
"We received a fantastic response to the roadshows. Hundreds of people stopped to talk to us every day, curious as to the new rates, what their entitlements were and the courses of action available to them if they were underpaid.
 
"Those who needed help were reassured through hearing about the success of others on case study phones on board the trailer and encouraged to make a complaint themselves. Many in fact returned later the same day with the necessary wage slips and information."
 
The roadshows issued around 500 complaint forms so that people could take action against underpayment. Enforcement officers can investigate, demand repayment of arrears and prosecute where necessary.
 
Last year, nearly 4m in arrears was recovered for 19,264 workers who had complained of underpayment.
 
From April this year, new rules include an automatic penalty of up to 5,000 for employers who illegally underpay and a fairer way of calculating arrears so that workers cannot lose out.
 
The National Minimum Wage rates are 5.73 an hour for workers aged 22 and over, 4.77 for 18 to 21-year-olds and 3.53 for those aged 16 and 17.
 

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