HC Deb 07 December 1998 vol 322 cc80-1W
Mr. Pond

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what plans he has to prepare the Employment Service for the introduction of the National Minimum Wage in April 1999; [62325]

(2) what measures he proposes to ensure that the Employment Service does not advertise jobs at a wage below the legal minimum; [62323]

(3) what measures the Employment Service is taking to promote the enforcement of the National Minimum Wage. [62324]

Mr. Andrew Smith

Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service agency under its Chief Executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Leigh Lewis to Mr. Chris Pond, dated December 1998: As the Employment Service is an Executive Agency the Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your questions concerning the Employment Service's preparations for the introduction, promotion and enforcement of the national minimum wage. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of the Agency. Prior to the coming into force of the national minimum wage legislation, we intend to issue guidance to Jobcentres making clear that, from April 1999, they should not accept from employers vacancies which do not comply with the requirements of the legislation and its associated regulations. From early next year staff in Jobcentres will be asked to alert employers using the Jobcentre, who may currently offer rates below those established by the national minimum wage legislation, to the steps they will need to take to ensure that they comply with the legislation. The Employment Service will also display posters and literature in Jobcentres in support of the publicity campaign by the DTI to raise awareness of the national minimum wage. Once the legislation is in force any complaints which Jobcentres receive concerning employers who may not be meeting the requirements of the legislation will be forwarded to the appropriate enforcement agency to investigate. I hope this is helpful.