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Call for workers’ rights commission

This news post is over 10 years old

Bodies call for a fair employment commission to support rise in national minimum wage

A leading rights and advice body has called for a commission for employment to be created to enforce workers’ rights.

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) welcomed the announcement the national minimum wage is to increase by 19p to £6.50 an hour but said the move should be under-scored by introducing a commission for fair employment in the UK.

We’re a long way away from living standards recovering to pre-recession levels - Martin Smith

The body argues there are two major changes the government can do to help low-paid workers: increase the minimum wage and protect workers rights more rigidly.

CAS chief executive Margaret Lynch has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make the call.

She said: "CAB advisers see so many people now who are in poverty, or very near it. Many of them are unemployed, but others are actually in work and are struggling because of low wages and uncertain hours – applied by rogue employers.

“The government says it wants to make work pay. We support that aim, and having secured a fairer minimum wage, the best way they can ensure that work pays is to create a powerful fair employment commission now."

It comes as one of the country’s biggest unions claimed most workers on the minimum wage are claiming benefits.

The GMBsaid the rise was still inadequate for people and families to live on.

It is pushing for more employers to adopt the living wage of £7.65 per hour.

Martin Smith, GMB national organiser said: "Most people who are paid the minimum wage have to claim UK state benefits to keep body and soul together.”

“We’re a long way away from living standards recovering to pre-recession levels.

“To promote a recovery we need employers to pay a living wage."