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Low Pay

Volume 485: debated on Monday 15 December 2008

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent estimate he has made of the number of people who are paid at a rate below the national minimum wage in (a) the UK, (b) the North East, (c) Tees Valley district and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency. (242372)

Information on earnings is taken from the ONS' Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) dataset for 2008. Information for local authority level and individual parliamentary constituencies is not readily available in the ASHE dataset. However, information is available on a government office region basis and for the UK.

(a) The ONS estimates that around 288,000 jobs are paid below the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates (£3.40/£4.60/£5.52) in the UK in 2007-08.

(b) In the North East, around 20,000 jobs are paid below the NMW rates.

These estimates do not measure non-compliance because some employees, undergoing certain apprenticeships and training, are either exempt or legitimately have lower rates.