The SPFL is to take a tougher stance over clubs’ approach to the National Minimum Wage.
The matter was discussed at a board meeting at Hampden Park and chief executive Neil Doncaster has revealed that tighter measures will be put in place to ensure all professional clubs in Scotland fall into line.
While the current SPFL professional player contract already includes the obligation to pay National Minimum Wage, the league has now committed to working on a new version from this summer, which will make the requirement of paying the minimum more explicit.
Any complaints made to the SPFL on the issue will be thoroughly investigated to ensure that all member clubs are acting appropriately and in accordance with the law. A small number of such allegations have already been investigated and corrective action has been taken.
The SPFL says it recognises that registration of players participating in its competitions is undertaken through the Scottish FA, and that the primary responsibility for policing payment by Scottish employers of the National Minimum Wage (and tax obligations) lies with HMRC.
Even so, the SPFL says it has a responsibility to take action to seek to ensure that its member clubs pay players, as a minimum, at National Minimum Wage rates.
“The SPFL has looked at the issue closely within the context of some of the challenges and factors that are unique to football,” said Doncaster.
“As a next step the SPFL will be examining its Rules and the Board will be bringing forward a number of recommendations to toughen the league’s approach to ensure clubs pay their players at least at the National Minimum Wage.
“At the same time, the SPFL will be available to provide any required support to member clubs to help them fully understand this area of the law and to address any challenges.
“We will ensure any claims received from players in this territory are quickly dealt with and, if upheld, that payments due are enforced.”