§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures will be taken to ensure that employers who contravene the national minimum wage will face a high risk of prosecution. 268W
§ Mr. Byers
[holding answer 16 March 1999]: The Inland Revenue will enforce the National Minimum Wage on behalf of my Department. The National Minimum Wage Act 1998 contains a number of provisions relating to enforcement, both civil and criminal. Workers will be able to take cases of underpayment to an employment tribunal or a civil court.
§ Mr. Hepburn
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has to extend the minimum wage provisions to those workers employed over 12 miles offshore. 
§ Mr. Byers
A draft Order in Council was laid before both Houses of Parliament on 10 March which makes provision for extending the national minimum wage to workers who work or ordinarily work in UK territorial waters. It will also extend the national minimum wage to those who work or ordinarily work in the UK sector of the continental shelf where the work is connected with the exploration or exploitation of the sea-bed of the UK sector of the continental shelf (or its subsoil) or is work in the UK sector connected with the exploration or exploitation of a foreign sector of a cross-boundary petroleum field. Subject to Parliamentary approval and the approval of Her Majesty, it will come into force on 1 May.