Workers with learning difficulties paid less than minimum wage

A “worrying” number of employment providers for people with learning difficulties are paying workers less than the minimum wage, a new report has revealed.

Many local authority and voluntary sector providers are “in breach” of national minimum wage rules, with some “simply avoiding the issue,” according to the report by a government working group on learning difficulties and employment.

The report, produced by the Department of Health and Department for Work and Pensions, warned that organisations could be taken to employment tribunals and forced to close if they continued to “ignore” guidance. It also highlighted the need to “eliminate confusion” in applying the law.

The report also said benefit rules and regulations were a “major barrier” to encouraging people with learning difficulties to find work, and called for a review of current benefit rules to allow people to work more hours.

People living in residential care or supported living faced “significant” financial disincentives to seek paid employment and would not be financially better off if they worked, it added.

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