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Minimum Wage: Enforcement

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many cases his Department has recorded of employers being in breach of legislation on the national minimum wage; and how many of these cases resulted in a successful prosecution in each year since the coming into force of the relevant provisions. (138497)

The number of cases recorded where non-compliance has been identified are as follows:

Closed cases with arrears identified

1999-2000

1,280

2000-01

2,119

2001-02

1,937

2002-03

1,996

2003-04

2,211

2004-05

1,798

2005-06

1,582

2006-07

1,523

The National Minimum Wage Act 1998 contains a number of provisions empowering enforcement officers to take civil action against non-paying employers and HMRC use these in the first instance when agreement cannot be reached. Agreement is reached in over 95 per cent. of cases without recourse to these measures.

In May 2006 the joint policy on enforcement and prosecutions was agreed between DTI, HMRC and Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Service (RCPO). To date there have been no prosecutions but a number of cases are being investigated by HMRC.