Pay up employers, or prepare yourself for a public shaming!

Minumum wageThe Government has unveiled new plans to name and shame any employers, who do not pay their staff the national minimum wage.

The new rules, due to come into force in October this year, have been designed to encourage more employers to pay their staff fairly – or shame them into paying up if they don’t.

According to the TUC (Trade Union Congress), an estimated 250,000 UK workers are paid less than the national minimum wage.

Read the full story on the BBC News website.

Gender equality in the workplace? Not where money is concerned!

Women are still earning less and receiving smaller bonuses

Women are still earning less and receiving smaller bonuses

According to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), we still have a long way to go before we achieve gender equality in the workplace, where financial rewards are concerned.

In addition to the already existing pay gap between men and women who do the same job, on average, male managers’ bonuses are more than double those of female managers.

The CMI said that last year, the average bonus for female managers was £3,029, while men in similar positions were paid an average bonus of £6,442. These men also already earned salaries that were almost 25% higher than what their female counterparts were being paid.

Read more on the BBC News website.

More than three quarters of payday loan complaints are justified

payday-loansAccording to new research by the Citizens Advice, at least 76 per cent of people who have lodged cases with them in relation to payday loan companies in the first six months of this year, have grounds for an official complaint to the Financial Ombudsman.

There were a number of different reasons cited for customers’ complaints to Citizen Advice, including potential fraud cases. A whopping 20 per cent of the complainants were reportedly being chased for payments on money they had not actually borrowed.

Read the full story on uSwitch.com.

Premium rates on customer service helplines to be banned

premium rate phone linesIf you’ve ever found yourself cursing at the hold music on a customer service helpline, as your hard-earned cash silently ticks away thanks to the number’s high call charges, this will be welcome news to you.

The Government has revealed a draft proposal to ban premium rates on most such helpline numbers,  meaning companies such as PC World, Argos, Royal Mail, Phones4U and energy suppliers will have to change their rates to ‘geographical’ (or normal land line number) rates.

According to The Telegraph, consumers spend nearly £2 billion a year on calls to premium rate numbers – yes, you read that right; TWO BILLION pounds!

Airlines, train line operators and banks will be exempt from the premium rates ban, though, so bear that in mind.

Read the whole story on Telegrapgh.co.uk.

The latest debt statistics from Credit Action

Credit Action has released debt statistics for August, and although outstanding personal debt is up, it’s not all bad news as unemployment figures are down.

The August installment of debt stats include:

  • £5,986: average household debt (excluding mortgages) in June, up from £5,978 in May
  • £164 million of interest was paid every day on personal debt in June
  • £1.421 billion: daily value of all plastic card purchases in May
  • 915,000 people had been unemployed for over a year between March and May
  • Every 5 minutes 7 seconds someone was declared bankrupt or insolvent during Q2 2013
  • £1.425 trillion was the value of outstanding personal debt at the end of June, up from the same period last year

For more details, go to: www.creditaction.org.uk

If you’re going to take out a payday loan, do it right!

Payday loan approved stampIt’s probably fair to say that very few people would relish the thought of taking out a payday loan to make ends meet for that last, pesky week of the month.

Infamous for the sky high interest rates, payday loans can easily lead to a downward spiral of increasing debt, so approach with caution!

If you need some fast cash, the first things to do is consider all the potential alternatives – and if you do go ahead with a payday loan, make sure you will be able to pay it back on time, as per the original agreement.

Money Saving Expert has pulled together a great little guide, listing all the things to think about before taking out a payday loan – check it out here.