Social Services: Pay

HM Treasury written question – answered on 30th January 2015.

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Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow Liberal Democrat, Sutton and Cheam

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the contribution of 13 January 2015 by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Official Report, column 222WH, on care sector, on what date each of the 94 cases was first raised with HM Revenue and Customs; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow Liberal Democrat, Sutton and Cheam

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the contribution of 13 January 2015 by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Official Report, columns 218-22WH, on care sector, if he will make it his policy to enable third parties to make formal complaints about breaches of national minimum wage rules and for them to be kept informed of the progress and outcome of investigations; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow Liberal Democrat, Sutton and Cheam

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the contribution of 13 January 2015 by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Official Report, columns 218-22WH, on care sector, when the last round of proactive investigation work by HM Revenue and Customs (a) began and (b) finished; when the current proactive work began; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The Government takes the enforcement of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) very seriously and has increased the financial penalty percentage from 50% to 100% of the unpaid wages owed to workers, and the maximum penalty from £5,000 to £20,000. These new limits are now in force where arrears are identified in pay reference periods on or after 7 March 2014. The Government is in the process of introducing primary legislation so that the maximum £20,000 penalty will apply to each underpaid worker.

In response to the questions arising from the contribution of 13 January 2015 by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Official Report, columns 218- 222WH, on the care sector:

Investigations into the 94 cases have been underway since 29 December 2011 – largely stemming from the particular period of enforcement referred to by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business.

HMRC already accept third party complaints and review all information received. All information received from third parties is handled sensitively. HMRC are unable to give feedback to third parties on any action taken or progress made, as all worker information is strictly confidential.

HMRC’s proactive work informing the ‘National Minimum Wage: Compliance in the social care sector’ report, commenced in April 2011 and evaluated enforcement in the social care sector over the period 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2013. We are continuing to evaluate this work, and HMRC are undertaking new targeted enforcement work in the care sector as set out by the BIS Minister on 15 January 2015.

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