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Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 14th March 2016.

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Photo of Ben Howlett Ben Howlett Conservative, Bath

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the prevalence of employers withholding wages from employees; and what steps he is taking to prevent that practice.

Photo of Nicholas Boles Nicholas Boles The Minister for Universities and Science, Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Jointly with the Department for Education)

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills does not collate this information centrally, however, I refer my Hon. Friend to the additional information which was placed in the Libraries of the House in response to a question from the Hon. Member for Islington South and Finsbury UIN 17042. Acas were notified of 12,791 Early Conciliation claims relating to the Wages Act from April to September 2015.

Additionally, there were 9,494 Employment Tribunal claims relating to unauthorised deductions from wages in the most recent six months for which HMCTS data is available (April to September 2015,

The Government publishes clear advice for employers and workers on deductions from pay which can be found here: A worker’s pay cannot be reduced below the National Minimum Wage (NMW) except in very limited circumstances – even if the worker agrees to the deduction.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) enforces the NMW, and anyone concerned about underpayment of the NMW should call Acas’s confidential helpline on 0300 123 1100 or visit HMRC will respond to every complaint they receive.

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