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Wages Councils

Volume 19: debated on Monday 1 March 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many establishments are covered by wages councils orders in England; how many visits were made in 1979, 1980 and 1981; how many underpayments were discovered; what are the amounts of cash involved in underpayments; and if he will make a statement.

Information is not available in the precise form requested. However, on 31 December 1981 there were 336,844 establishments in England known to be within scope of Wages Councils. The following are the other figures for England requested:

Establishments inspected by visit28,98628,67920,203
Employees found to be underpaid19,327*23,637*20,426*
Total arrears assessed£1,345,204*£1,785,376*£1,743,649*

be about one third of all vacancies in the country as a whole. Because of possible duplication the figures for employment offices and careers offices should not be added together.

The number of vacancies unfilled at a particular date takes no account of the flow of vacancies being notified, filled or withdrawn which would reflect activity more closely. For example, during the twelve month period to December 1981, 1,363,108 people were placed in jobs by employment offices and 117,900 by careers offices in the United Kingdom. It is estimated that the public employment service accounts for about one in four of all vacancies.

* Including holiday remuneration.

The figures quoted cannot be regarded as representative of wages council trades as a whole in England as the Inspectorate investigates all complaints and tends to concentrate its resources in areas where underpayments are likely to occur.