Clause 12

Part of Employment Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee am 5:00 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 5:00, 14 Hydref 2008

I do not have that information, but I shall look into the matter to see whether I can enlighten the hon. Gentleman later in the Committee’s deliberations.

Clause 12 remedies the situation by enabling HMRC to use the investigation powers available to it under part II of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, as it can with other HMRC responsibilities. Those powers would enable HMRC to require the production of, or to search premises for, documents of substantial evidential value to an investigation. I emphasise that those powers will be granted to HMRC only if the courts agree that documents of substantial evidential value are likely to be obtained and that such an order is necessary and proportionate in the circumstances.

The hon. Member for Huntingdon asked whether the powers will be usable only for offences triable by indictment. I am happy to confirm that that is correct. As I said earlier, clause 11 relates to clause 12, and vice versa. The investigative powers in clause 12 could not be used if the national minimum wage offences were triable only as summary offences, as the Police and Criminal Evidence Act powers are available only for indictable offences. The powers in clause 12 would enable prosecutions for the most serious offences in the 1998 Act.