New Campaign to Ensure Fair Wage for Nursery Workers

Employees in the childcare sector who are paid less than the minimum wage will be given a helping hand by the Government, Employment Minister Jim Fitzpatrick announced today.  Teams from HM Revenue & Customs, which ensures payment of the minimum wage, will begin a year-long enforcement campaign after finding widespread evidence of non-payment of the minimum wage. This will involve a combination of education, targeted enforcement and working with employers.

Jim Fitzpatrick said: “When parents are paying for their childcare I’m sure they would expect the provider to have sound employment practices. While we know that there are many exemplary employers in this sector there is a problem with some nurseries.

“The minimum wage is there for a reason and the Government is determined to ensure that workers get the pay they deserve. That is why the enforcement of the minimum wage is so important.

“This campaign is as much about helping people as cracking down. If any employers or employees are confused about minimum wage rates, or need help and advice they can get it by calling the national minimum wage helpline on 0845 6000 678.

“The Government is also investing in childcare to ensure that providers, including those in the private sector can improve quality and give parents increased confidence. ”

Paymaster General Dawn Primarolo said: “All employees deserve to be paid a fair wage for the job they do. HMRC’s enforcement teams have found that one in three of the nurseries they have visited have been paying less than the minimum wage.

“This is much higher than other employment sectors and it is vital that we ensure that these employees are receiving the pay to which they are legally entitled.

“We believe that misunderstanding contributes to the problem, so HMRC will at first focus on education and helping employers get their house in order to meet their obligations and will only resort to tougher enforcement measures where necessary.”

Last year the Low Pay Commission reported that there were nine areas of the economy where low pay was common.