Minimum Wage

Treasury written question – answered on 16th July 2020.

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Photo of Andy McDonald Andy McDonald Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many HMRC national minimum wage enforcement staff were employed in each region in each year since the financial year 2009-10.

Photo of Andy McDonald Andy McDonald Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much HMRC has expended on national minimum wage enforcement in (a) total and (b) each region for each year since the financial year 2009-10.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The Government is determined that everyone who is entitled to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) receives it.

HMRC enforce the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) in line with the law and policy set out by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

HMRC investigate all complaints from workers referred by the Acas helpline, or received via the online complaints form.

The total number of staff employed by HMRC since 2009-2010 to carry out National Minimum Wage enforcement is provided in the table below.

Year

Number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff

2009/10

140

2010/11

142

2011/12

139

2012/13

142

2013/14

158

2014/15

183

2015/16

251

2016/17

352

2017/18

412

2018/19

429

2019/20

442

There are also additional staff across HMRC who contribute to enforcing the NMW including lawyers, technical advisers, and those specialising in criminal investigations. These staff are not included in the numbers outlined above.

HMRC do not hold accurate data on regional staff numbers going back to 2009-10. However, most recently, for 2019-20 there were 442 full-time equivalent NMW enforcement staff working from 22 locations in 12 regions across the country:

Region

Number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff

East Midlands

25

Greater London

40

North East

34

North West

106

Northern Ireland

25

Scotland

65

South East

12

South West

13

East of England

3

Wales

24

West Midlands

52

Yorkshire and the Humber

43

Total

442

As a national operation, it is common for staff based in one region to work cases in another.

The Government has been increasing funding for NMW enforcement year-on-year. This has enabled a significant expansion of resources dedicated to enforcing the minimum wage.

The table below provides a yearly breakdown of funding received for NMW enforcement from 2009/10 to 2020/21.

Year

Funding for NMW enforcement (millions)

2009/10

£8.3

2010/11

£8.1

2011/12

£8.3

2012/13

£8.3

2013/14

£8.3

2014/15

£9.2

2015/16

£13.2

2016/17

£20.0

2017/18

£25.3

2018/19

£25.2

2019/20

£26.3

2020/21

£26.4

It is not possible to provide an accurate regional breakdown of the NMW enforcement budget.

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