Almost half (48%) of respondents who earn less than £15,000 a year do not know that tips cannot be used to top up wages to the minimum wage, according to research by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Its survey of 1,435 UK adults who are aged 16 or over and earn less than £15,000 a year, also found that 69% of respondents do not know that they should be paid for travel time between appointments.
The research also found that more than half (57%) of respondents do not know that having money deducted from their wages to cover the costs of their uniform is unlawful if it takes their earnings below the national minimum wage or national living wage.
The research forms part of a new government advertising campaign, which is designed to increase understanding about pay, especially among lower-paid employees.
The campaign has been launched ahead of the national minimum wage and national living wage rate increases, due to come into effect from 1 April 2017.
The national living wage, which currently stands at £7.20 an hour for employees aged 25 and over, is set to increase to £7.50 an hour from April 2017. The national minimum wage will rise from £6.95 an hour to £7.05 an hour for staff aged between 21 and 24, from £5.55 an hour to £5.60 an hour for employees aged between 18 and 20, and those under the age of 18 will earn £4.05 an hour from April 2017, compared to the current £4.00 an hour. Apprentice wage rates will also increase from £3.40 an hour to £3.50 an hour from April 2017.
Margot James, business minister, said: “We are determined to make sure everybody in work receives a fair wage and while most employers get it right, there are still a small number who fail to play by the rules. This campaign will raise awareness among the lowest-paid people in society about what they must legally receive.”