National Minimum Wage Naming Scheme

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:51 pm on 4th June 2019.

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Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 4:51 pm, 4th June 2019

The hon. Lady says that the Government have nothing to be proud of, but I am absolutely proud to serve in a Government who have put so much focus on enforcing the national minimum wage. As I have already mentioned, this year we increased the national minimum wage by the biggest amount in 20 years, up 4.9%.

It is simply not true to say that we have shelved the naming and shaming scheme. It is absolutely right for me, as the Minister responsible, to evaluate the scheme and make sure that any naming and shaming scheme is meaningful, adds value, acts as a tool to aid employers to make sure that they are able to comply with the national minimum wage legislation, and enables us effectively to communicate exactly what the breaches are and why, and the detriment to the individual worker. We remain absolutely determined to stamp out low pay.

We currently have larger numbers of people in work than ever before, and it is absolutely right that those individuals should get the hourly rates to which they are entitled. As I said in my opening remarks, we doubled the enforcement budget to £27.4 million in 2019-20. That was up from £13.2 million in 2015-16. We are committed to continuing that enforcement. I will not make excuses for reviewing the naming and shaming scheme, because we want to add value and make it more effective, and we want to make sure that we aid employers, help workers to understand their rights and offer routes to recourse.