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Minimum Wage

Volume 468: debated on Monday 26 November 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many employers have been (a) prosecuted and (b) convicted of paying employees below the minimum wage in (i) the UK, (ii) the North East and (iii) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland in each of the last 10 years. (166596)

There have been no employers prosecuted for failure to pay workers the national minimum wage. Since the minimum wage was introduced in April 1999 the focus has been on ensuring that workers receive the minimum wage and any arrears they are due. In total, just over £28 million in arrears has been identified for workers by national minimum wage compliance teams.

HMRC are now investigating a range of cases with a view to criminal prosecution. In August 2007 and October 2007 two employers were successfully prosecuted for obstruction and for neglecting to answer any question during minimum wage investigations.