By Claire West

Following the announcement by the Government of the new National Minimum Wage rates and a scheme to publicly name employers who flout minimum wage laws, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) dedicated industrial recruitment group has asked for similar tactics in poorly run travel and subsistence schemes.

Alongside the increase in the National Minimum Wage rates, Employment Minister Ed Davey announced last week the Government’s plans to publicise, as of January 2011, cases of employers breaching the rules.

Under the new scheme employers will be given three months to “put their house in order”. National Minimum Wage rates are in direct interaction with travel and subsistence schemes.

Commenting on the issue, Sally Hewick, Chair of REC Industrial said:

Through travel and subsistence schemes, National Minimum Wage rates have a direct impact on our sector. In the current climate, a lawfully operated scheme is above all linked to the fair treatment of an already hard pressed workforce, rather than just the way we run our businesses.

Despite increased policing by the GLA and HMRC, we still continue to see cases where these schemes are not operated correctly. Publicity in the fight against employers who try to exploit their workers can be a very useful weapon.

The Government’s plans to expose employers who don’t follow the rules, should be extended to travel and subsistence schemes if we want to ensure high standards and services valued for by our clients. We had called for facts and figures by the HMRC on providers examined and the levels of revenue collected through compliance before.

We will continue working with the REC to safeguard our industry and secure first class recruitment services in the industrial market.”