asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many representations he has received about wages levels fixed by wages councils; and if he will make a statement.
Under the Wages Councils Act 1979, wages councils must publish their proposals for changes in statutory minimum rates and allow a period of at least 14 days in which those affected by the proposals may make representations to the council. Councils must consider all representations before deciding whether to confirm or amend their proposals. Representations about minimum rates are made direct to the councils, which are independent of Government and do not publish details of the representations they receive. I also receive a number of letters from hon. Members about wages councils.It is important that minimum rates fixed by wages councils should be realistic. Employers should ensure that their views are known to their representatives on councils and should exercise their statutory right to make representations about councils' proposals.