Scrooge bosses forced to pay out

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More than £2.4million has been recovered over the past six months from firms refusing to pay the minimum wage, the Government has announced.

Recent cases included four doormen in East Kilbride who shared £26,000 in back pay and a holiday firm in the West Country which paid £177,000 in wage arrears to 41 workers.

Employers have been forced to pay almost £18 million in back pay since the statutory rate was introduced in 1999 with more than 5,000 low-paid workers receiving a pay rise in recent months.

Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt said: "Its great news that this money was recovered in time for Christmas, but employees should be covered throughout the year - not just during the season of goodwill.

"We carry on tracking down those unscrupulous bosses who refuse to pay the national minimum wage when they should be and make them pay up."

The national minimum wage rate is:
* £4.85 for workers aged 22 and over
* £4.10 for workers aged 18-21 inclusive
*£3 for 16 and 17 year olds (above compulsory school leaving age)

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