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Minimum Wage

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many companies in each of the last five years were found to be paying their staff below the minimum wage; and what action was taken in each case. (187416)

In the great majority of cases where minimum wage arrears are identified the employer pays any minimum wage arrears without the need for any formal enforcement action. Where arrears are not paid, an Enforcement Notice will be issued setting out the arrears that are considered to be due. An employer will then have 28 days to lodge an appeal and subsequently have his case heard before an Employment Tribunal. If the appeal is not upheld or the Enforcement Notice is not appealed against, the arrears become due.

Details of the number of employers found not to be paying their staff the minimum wage in each of the last five years can be found in the table.

Cases of non compliance

2003-04

2,211

2004-05

1,798

2005-06

1,582

2006-07

1,522

2007-08 year to date

1,301

In line with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) requirements, each complaint about possible non-payment of NMW is recorded as a case. In a small number of instances, where exceptionally the same employer is the subject of more than one complaint, the same employer will feature in more than one case. The number of cases does not therefore equate exactly with the number of employers for whom arrears have been identified.