A new report has revealed that 580,000 Brits are probably being paid less than the legal wage rates, with women in part-time jobs the biggest losers.
A study by the Low Pay Commission (LPC) found that as many as one in five low-paid workers are receiving less than they are entitled to.
The LPC found that the problem could affect between 305,000 and 580,000 workers, with a large chunk of those working in retail.
Most of the underpaid workers are also women in part-time, hourly paid jobs, and the LPC will soon recommend what the wage rates should be from next April.
“With more workers than ever paid the minimum wage or close to it, more people are at risk of being underpaid,” LPC chairman Bryan Sanderson said.
“Our analysis finds that up to one in five people who should be paid at least the minimum wage may in fact receive less.
“The LPC welcomes the recent increases in funding for HMRC’s enforcement of the minimum wage, and recognises the progress it has made.
“However, we also think there is more the government could do to identify non-compliance and stop it happening in the first place.”
The LPC recommended that naming employers found to underpay workers should be made more regular.
The current national living wage rate for over 25s, is £7.50 an hour, while minimum wage rates for 21 to 24-year-olds is £7.05 and £5.60 for 18 to 20-year-olds.