HC Deb 08 March 2004 vol 418 cc1283-4W
Mr. Stephen O'Brien

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many companies have been convicted of breaking the rules on the minimum wage in each year since its introduction; and what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of(a) compliance teams and (b) local enforcement pilot projects in improving compliance with the minimum wage. [157222]

Mr. Sutcliffe

The following table provides details of the number of employers investigated by the Inland Revenue where non-compliance with the minimum wage was found.

Number of employers
1999–000 1,280
2000–01 2,119
2001–02 1,937
2002–03 1,996
2003–041 1,813
1 To 31 January 2004.

The Inland Revenue enforce the minimum wage on behalf of the DTI through a service level agreement with the DTI. Both Departments monitor performance to ensure value for money is achieved. We intend to evaluate on the effectiveness of the local enforcement pilot projects later this year.

Annabelle Ewing

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to allow citizens of EU accession states to claim, from 1 May onwards, the national minimum wage while (i) living and (ii) working in the United Kingdom. [156971]

Mr. Timms

[holding answer 27 February 2004]: The National Minimum Wage Act 1998 provides that all qualifying workers who work in the UK are entitled to be paid at least the national minimum wage regardless of their country of origin.

We have announced that individuals from the accession states will be entitled to work in the UK provided they meet certain conditions. These will include registering with the Home Office under its workers' registration scheme, which was announced last week.

Mr. Hoyle

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many people in each Lancashire constituency are earning the minimum wage. [157187]

Mr. Sutcliffe

It is not possible to provide estimates of the number of people earning the national minimum wage specifically for each Lancashire constituency. However, based on the Office for National Statistics' Low Pay data released in 2003, the DTI estimates that around 140,000 people in the North West stood to benefit from the introduction of the national minimum wage in April 1999.

The DTI estimates that between 130,000 and 160,000 people in the North West benefited from the increase in minimum wage rates in October 2003.