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Nearly 40,000 Scots paid less than minimum wage last year

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Nearly 40,000 Scots paid less than minimum wage last year

Around 37,000 Scots were paid below the statutory minimum wage in the last year, according to new analysis of HMRC data by Citizens Advice Scotland.

The analysis suggests 36,876 workers in Scotland were paid less than the national minimum wage last year.

CAS issued 43,000 pieces of advice in 2018/19, with 12,000 concerning pay and entitlements, meaning the area represents the third most common subject of enquiries.

CAS social justice spokesperson Mhoraig Green said CAS regularly encounters cases of employers paying illegally low rates, or refusing to pay holiday pay, particularly in cases involving non-UK nationals.

She said: “These 37,000 workers are just the tip of the iceberg. Many more in the informal economy won’t be identified in these numbers. This should act as a wake-up call to our new government to ensure that 2020 is the year the minimum wage must become a legal reality.

“Our network in Scotland sees hundreds of thousands of people every year, and a significant proportion of our clients experience in-work poverty. This indicates that the current minimum wage rates are not sufficient to enable many people to live above poverty levels, even when they are paid in full.

“With living costs rising and social security support reducing, people who go out to work should be able to earn a wage that allows them to live a decent life, provide for their family and live in dignity. That is clearly not the case for too many households.”

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