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Overseas Workers: Wages

Volume 622: debated on Thursday 15 February 2001

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asked Her Majesty's Government:In the light of reports that skilled stonemasons from India were employed in the building of a temple in London at very low wages, what steps they are taking when granting labour permits to ensure:

  • (a) that a wage comparable with United Kingdom or European Union workers is offered;
  • (b) that the wage offered is actually paid; and
  • (c) that the employee is made aware of the wage being offered in the application. [HL306]
  • The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment
    (Baroness Blackstone)

    Work permit applications are considered against a number of criteria, including the pay and other conditions of employment. These should be at least equal to those normally given to a resident worker doing similar work. All applications must meet the national minimum wage regulations.All potential employees should be aware of the wage being offered. Both the work permit and Home Office recommendation letters (used where the individual is already in the UK) provide details of the salary which employers have indicated on the application form will be paid.Where doubts are raised about whether employers meet their undertakings, including the wage paid, the Overseas Labour Service investigates each case thoroughly, involving other departments as necessary, including the Department of Trade and Industry where there are issues relating to compliance with national minimum wage legislation.