Skip to main content

Department for Education (Living Wage)

Volume 598: debated on Monday 20 July 2015

15. What assessment she has made of the potential merits of her Department becoming an accredited living wage employer. (901100)

16. What assessment her Department has made of the potential effect on its staff of it becoming an accredited living wage employer. (901101)

My Department has no directly employed staff paid below the living wage, and from the end of August 2015 all agency staff should receive at least the living wage. I have commissioned the Department’s head of property to review how the living wage can be paid to subcontracted support staff by the end of this calendar year.

I welcome those assurances and hope that other Ministers and Secretaries of State will take note. Is the Secretary of State aware of how many direct or indirect employees of her Department have to rely on state welfare benefits to top up their wages at the end of the week?

I do not have those figures to hand. I am happy to ask, although it could be regarded as quite intrusive to ask members of staff about their personal financial situation. The hon. Gentleman makes an important point, which is reflected in my right hon. Friend the Chancellor’s recent Budget: we want people who are working to receive the right wage for their work and not to be reliant on state hand-outs.

Has any assessment been made of the potential impact on departmental staff of the removal of tax credits?