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Low Pay Commission

Volume 684: debated on Friday 14 July 2006

My right honourable friend the Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Trade and Industry (Jim Fitzpatrick) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

In its 2006 report to Government, the Low Pay Commission recommended that the accommodation offset provisions should continue to apply to all workers housed by their employer in all circumstances; and that Government update existing guidance and raise awareness. It also recommended that the Government should implement legislative measures to prevent employers using the device of a separate accommodation company to evade the offset.

The Government accepted the need to update guidance on the accommodation offset in their response in March 2006. In the House of Commons debate on 3 July and the Lords debate of 4 July 2006 on the draft National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 (Amendment Regulations) 2006 the Government announced that they agreed with the Low Pay Commission's recommendation that the accommodation offset should apply in all situations, but believed that legislative measures were not required. Existing legislation already covers a wide range of circumstances in which the employer provides accommodation to workers. We announced our intention to consult on the clarity of the revised guidance.

I am pleased to advise in line with better regulations guidelines that we are issuing draft guidance on the accommodation offset for consultation and will be consulting with a range of interested parties.

Copies of the draft guidance will be placed in both Houses.