Clause 7

Part of Employment Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee am 12:00 pm ar 14 Hydref 2008.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

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 12:00, 14 Hydref 2008

I want to say a brief word about this final clause dealing with dispute resolution. It inserts a new provision into the Employment Rights Act 1996 to empower employment tribunals to order employers to compensate workers for the full financial loss they have sustained as a result of unlawful deductions from wages, including failure to pay the national minimum wage, and non-payment of redundancy awards.

For the moment we should put ourselves in the shoes of a worker entitled to the national minimum wage who does not receive it. We all have constituents who may be in that position and we have some understanding of just how difficult it is for someone in that position to make ends meet. The denial, contrary to the law, of perhaps a couple of hundred pounds, is something that we could probably all deal with. It would not make us become overdrawn, but to those on the minimum wage it can make the difference between just getting by or ending up in real trouble. That is what this clause is about.

If someone incurs bank charges for going into overdraft as a result of such an unlawful non-payment, the clause would be available to the tribunal to help compensate for that. I stress that it is as a direct result of the non-payment and it is drawn tightly, but it is recognition that financial loss can result from things like unlawful deductions from wages or non-payment of redundancy awards.