§ Mr. MacShane
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what measures his Department is taking to ensure that its contractors and suppliers(a) pay their employees a wage which ensures such employees do not need supplementary welfare payments via various state benefits and (b) meet workplace health and safety regulations; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Burt
Wage levels are considered along with other information which collectively allows the Department to determine a contractor's ability to provide a work force at the required skills level. However, terms and conditions of employment, including wages, are a matter between the contractor or supplier and his employees, subject of course to any relevant legal requirements. Compliance with health and safety requirements is a legal requirement for the contractor or supplier. The Department always seeks assurances that contractors are fully aware of their obligations in this matter.