National Minimum Wage Legislation Debate

Full Debate: Read Full Debate
Department: Department for Business and Trade
Thursday 21st March 2024

(2 months, 3 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Watch Debate Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Lord Offord of Garvel Portrait Lord Offord of Garvel (Con)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

In the recent Supreme Court judgment on Uber, it was made clear that those who qualify as workers under existing employment law are entitled to core employment rights and that all gig economy businesses must ensure that they fulfil their legal responsibilities. We now have a situation in which the national minimum wage is two-thirds of hourly median pay, and under OECD rules that means it is no longer classified as low pay. We know that 5% of our workforce is on national minimum wage, which is a great success.

Lord Sikka Portrait Lord Sikka (Lab)
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Currys, EasyJet and Greggs are part of a parade of companies that never forget to pay bosses but somehow forget to pay the minimum wage to workers. Their memory can be improved by effective sanctions requiring that the fine for not paying the minimum wage must equal remuneration of the entire board, of which at least 50% must be paid personally by directors. When will the Minister introduce this sanction?

Lord Offord of Garvel Portrait Lord Offord of Garvel (Con)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

One of the sanctions available to the Government is the naming and shaming scheme, which is very successful. We have a large number of companies which have been subject to that, and we have therefore increased greatly the number of companies complying as a result. When HMRC finds employers which breach this, it can impose a penalty of up to 200%; the penalties are severe for companies which do not comply.