Care Sector

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:15 am on 13th January 2015.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Education) (Women and Equalities) , The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 11:15 am, 13th January 2015

I do not think that there is anything preventing that from happening at the moment. Every complaint is investigated, and it is important to stress that all complaints are made in confidence. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs will not just go and say, “Is Mr Joe Bloggs being paid appropriately?”; it will investigate the entire work force if necessary. Many of the care investigations that have taken place have found arrears for tens and, in some cases involving very large companies, for hundreds or thousands of workers. Those are obviously complex investigations.

Proactive investigations happen. There was a particular period of targeted enforcement in the care sector, from 2011 to 2013. We recognise that the issue is important and are returning to the care sector for proactive work. That process is now under way, so more will happen. Currently, 94 employers in the care sector are being investigated for national minimum wage issues, and when those investigation conclude, we will see whether they have broken the law. If so, there are tough penalties, including naming and shaming, and we have taken steps to increase the resources available to HMRC for that vital work.