§ Alan Johnson
The number of employers found not to be paying the minimum wage in the last two years is as follows:
Year 2000–01 2,119 2001–02 1,937
§ Mr. Watts
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what plans she has to increase the level of penalties for employers who fail to comply with the minimum wage legislation; 
(2) what the maximum penalty is that can be imposed on employers who fail to comply with the minimum wage legislation; 
(3) what the average penalty imposed on employees was who failed to comply with the minimum wage legislation in the last 12 months; 
(4) how many employers have been reported for forcing their employees to work unpaid hours beyond their contracts in the last 12 months; and what the maximum penalties are that can be imposed in such cases. 
§ Alan Johnson
The Inland Revenue enforces the national minimum wage on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry.
Under the National Minimum Wage Act 1998, Inland Revenue compliance officers can issue penalty notices where businesses have failed to comply with an enforcement notice in respect of the minimum wage. Penalty notices impose a financial penalty equal to twice the hourly amount of the main minimum wage rate per worker, for each day of non-payment of the minimum wage from the date that the enforcement notice was issued. Each time the main minimum wage rate is increased, the level of penalties is therefore also increased. There is no upper limit on the penalty that can be imposed on an employer.
In the year ended 31 March 2002, sixty-five Penalty Notices were issued for a total of £95,804, giving an average penalty of £1,973.90. No separate information is held on the number of minimum wage cases where employees were found to be working beyond their contracted hours.