Charlie Mullins, founder of the hugely successful enterprise “Pimlico Plumbers” and outspoken advocate of well-trained, well-paid tradesmen, has hit out at employers, large and small, who pay below the minimum wage.
In an article for Real Business, Mullins says:
I was staggered to discover there are still firms out there, including some well-known names, which are still failing to pay the National Minimum Wage.
Most recently, 37 were named and shamed, which is a good thing, because any business who pays their people less than the minimum deserves to be put in the stocks and have their bad practices exposed.
And does anyone really believe major firms like retailer H&M and Welcome Break, the service station operator, when they say that staff were paid below the minimum wage as a result of H&M’s “time logging errors” and Welcome Break’s “IT problems”?
Seriously, if these company bosses are struggling to work out an hourly rate on a calculator, you have to wonder how they manage to guide these multi-million pound operations to ring up such large profits.
He went on:
I’m sure they’d pay much more attention if, instead of the paltry £51,000 fine these 37 firms received, their CEOs got a 12-month stretch at Her Majesty’s pleasure.
I do think it’s great that the government is attempting to crack down on businesses who fail to pay a minimum of £6.50 an hour to any staff aged over 21. But the fines of just £1,400 for each of the businesses in question are pathetic – especially when H&M racks up more than £600m in profit in three months alone.
Pimlico Plumbers are a model employer, their skilled staff, tradesmen and women, earn well above the minimum wage, some hard working employees can take home six figure salaries for their pound- of-flesh!
Margaret Thatcher would have been proud of Charlie Mullins, his kind of entrepreneurial quest was her elixir of life, her very reason to become a public servant.
Mullins is right of course – expensive tax credits do subsidise those employers who seek to exploit the taxpayer and gullible ministers. This current coalition is ignorant to these “rogue employers” – preferring to encourage ‘jobs at any price’!
Charlie Mullins has many wise-words for employees and employers alike, but, without doubt, the last paragraph in his article should become part of the British Constitution:
In our country there are millions who are officially in poverty, and what’s making it even more shocking is that more than half of those people are in work.
For me, if you go to work every day you deserve a decent reward – no exceptions!