Companies that use agency labour and pay unrealistically low rates to their providers are conniving in tax evasion, worker exploitation or both, according to the Association of Labour Providers (ALP).
The ALP issued the warning to coincide with the publication of their temporary labour "Minimum Charge Rate" tables which take account of the new national minimum wage rates that come into force on October 1st.
Rates payable to labour providers for agency workers must cover the appropriate minimum wage, employer's national insurance, statutory holiday entitlement, overhead costs and an element for labour provider profit. Very low rates need to be investigated and are likely to indicate illegal activity the ALP said.
David Camp, Director of the Association of Labour Providers, commented: "We have reported cases to the GLA in which labour users are paying rates where there is no chance that taxes can be paid and the workers receive minimum wage, holidays and their other entitlements. In these cases the labour user is complicit in law breaking and faces serious disruption to their business and damage to their brand when eventually the authorities catch up with them. Anyone who is aware of such low rates being paid may advise the ALP or can report it directly to the GLA."
Recommended rates, agreed with the Gangmasters' Licensing Authority (GLA), Defra, the Scottish Executive and DARDNI, are available to download from www.labourproviders.org.uk