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Wages Act 1986

Volume 128: debated on Thursday 25 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he has any plans to extend the Wages Act 1986 to Northern Ireland; what is his estimate of the effect on employment levels of young people that the removal of wages council protection would have; and if he will make a statement.

The Draft Wages (Northern Ireland) Order 1988, which was laid on 10 December 1987, will introduce reforms similar to those already in place in Great Britain under the Wages Act 1986. I am not aware of any studies which quantify the number of jobs which will arise from the specific reforms which are proposed and attempts to estimate the effect on employment levels of the removal of young persons from the scope of wages councils are not likely to be productive. However, the removal of statutory minima which prevent employers offering jobs at rates which young people would accept will be conducive to their increased employment.