Clause 14

Part of Employment Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:15 pm on 14 October 2008.

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Photo of Pat McFadden Pat McFadden Minister of State (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) (Employment Relations and Postal Affairs), Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee 5:15, 14 October 2008

That is not quite the difference. The difference is that section 44 of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 allows a voluntary organisation to provide accommodation by paying rent directly to a landlord, but it does not pay the rental costs to the voluntary worker.

Reimbursed expenses must have been incurred, or reasonably estimated to have been incurred, so reimbursement is always for an outlay. The expenses must legitimately enable voluntary workers to perform their duties, and they must not be reimbursed for expenses unrelated to their work. Furthermore, those expenses must be reasonably incurred so that the voluntary worker does not benefit from claiming excessive expenses. We will issue guidance to voluntary organisations and volunteers accompanying the changes in the Bill.

We received a significant number of representations on that issue and the clause was amended in the other place along the lines in front of us. I believe that that gives significant reassurance to voluntary organisations and workers that they can receive the appropriate expenses to enable them to carry out their valuable work without getting tied up with the minimum wage.