The LPC will continue to monitor, evaluate and review the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and its impact, and review the levels of each of the different minimum wage rates.
As part of its remit the Government has asked the independent body to:
· Pay particular attention to youth employment, including those in apprenticeships
· Review the regulations for salaried workers and consider whether they can be simplified
· Review the regulations that apply where employers provide accommodation for their workers
The LPC will report to the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills by the end of February 2013.
Employment Relations Minister Norman Lamb, said:
“The Government is committed to the National Minimum Wage as it provides much needed protection for low paid workers and encourages those out of work, to get back into the labour market. We have asked the LPC this year to monitor the impact of the NMW, consult with all interested parties, and to make recommendations for the Government to consider next year.”
Notes for editors:
1. The Low Pay Commission was established following the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 to advise the Government about the National Minimum Wage. Commissioners have backgrounds in business, trades unions and academic labour relations. For more details, and copies of the full 2012 Report, see www.lowpay.gov.uk/
2. In the remit for the LPC’s 2013 report, the Government is asking the LPC to monitor, evaluate and review the NMW rates and make recommendations, plus consider three issues of particular relevance this year:
· Youth rates - We have retained the specific reference to young people this year, because of continuing concerns about the youth labour market and the need to consider the impact of the Raising of the (learning) Participation Age in England on the youth and apprentice rates
· Accommodation Offset - Accommodation is the only benefit in kind that can count towards the NMW. Employers are allowed to offset the cost of providing accommodation against the NMW, up to a specified limit. The LPC last reviewed these rules in 2006 and we agree with the LPC's view in its 2012 report that it is appropriate to review the evidence base and the rationale for the provisions.
· Salaried workers – We are asking the LPC to review the provisions for workers who are paid an annual salary in monthly/weekly instalments. These provisions have never been reviewed and there may be scope for these rules to be made simpler.
3. A written ministerial statement has been made today, publishing the remit for the LPC’s 2013 report. Full details of the remit will shortly be available at www.parliament.uk
4. When the minimum wage was launched in 1999, the main rate was £3.60. It is now set at £6.08 per hour. On the 19th March the Government announced the following rates will come into effect on 1 October 2012:
· The adult rate will increase by 11p to £6.19 an hour
· The rate for 18-20 year olds will remain at £4.98 an hour
· The rate for 16-17 year olds will remain at £3.68 an hour and
· The rate for apprentices will increase by 5p to £2.65 an hour.
5. The Pay and Work Rights helpline number is 0800 917 2368. As well as receiving and investigating complaints about non-payment of the minimum wage, the helpline offers advice and information.
6. BIS's online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.