HL Deb 23 April 2001 vol 625 cc15-6WA
Lord Harrison

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In the light of the statistics in the British Hospitality Association 2001 Contract Catering Survey, what has been the impact of the introduction of the national minimum wage in the hospitality sector. [HL1604]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville)

Employment in the United Kingdom has grown by over 430,000 since the introduction of the minimum wage. The number of jobs in the hotel and catering sector—which includes a high proportion of low paid jobs—increased by 14,000 between March 1999 and September 2000. The independent Low Pay Commission's third report found no adverse effects on the economy or employment; in fact employment had increased in a range of service industries.

The Government recognise that for some employers the national minimum wage presents a challenge. We will be working through the Small Business Service and the trade associations to ensure that firms in this sector are able to make the necessary adjustments to manage the changes arising from minimum wage increase due in October.