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National Minimum Wage

Volume 408: debated on Tuesday 1 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to her answer of 11 June 2003, Official Report, column 897W, on the national minimum wage, if she will break down by region the number of employers not complying with the minimum wage regulations; if she will list the provisions empowering enforcement officers to take action; under what circumstances offenders are prosecuted; and if she will make a statement. [120013]

Further to my earlier answer on 11 June, 1,996 employers were found not to be complying with the minimum wage regulations in 2002–03 and these can be broken down by region as follows:

East Midlands94
North East127
North West181
Northern Ireland212
South East94
South West136
West Midlands152
There are a small number of cases (83) where unfortunately the regional details have not been recorded on the central database.The National Minimum Wage Act 1998 (NMWA 1998) contains a number of enforcement provisions: Section 14 deals with the production of staff records; Section 19(1) deals with Enforcement Notices; Section 20 covers tribunal and court proceedings where an Enforcement Notice is not complied with; Section 21(1) deals with Penalty Notices; Section 31 deals with prosecutions.As I said in my earlier answer, the Inland Revenue successfully resolves the great majority of cases (around 99 per cent.) without enforcement action being needed.