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Agriculture: Wages

Volume 691: debated on Tuesday 24 April 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many prosecutions have been brought, or are pending, following the 50 complaints from migrant workers to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs about wages below the agricultural minimum and related abuses. [HL3225]

When dealing with complaints from workers alleging that they have been paid less than the agricultural minimum, Defra gives priority to recovering any arrears of pay owed and ensuring that the worker’s employer pays the minimum wage in future. However, where there is evidence that an employer has wilfully failed to pay the minimum wage, Defra has powers to prosecute. There is currently one such prosecution under consideration arising from the 50 complaints received from migrant workers in the past year. The remaining complaints are at various stages of the arrears recovery process.