Low Pay Commission consultation on the accommodation offset
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25 July 2012 - BIS and Low pay Commission
In its remit from the Government this year the Low Pay Commission has
been asked, among other things, to review the accommodation offset (the
offset). The Commission has, therefore, launched a public consultation
to obtain views on the offset from both workers and employers who
provide accommodation to their workers.
The offset is the only
benefit-in-kind that can count towards payment of the National Minimum
Wage (NMW). It is currently set at a daily limit of £4.73 (£33.11 a
week) and its purpose is to act as a protective measure, to discourage
employers both from levying excessive accommodation charges and from
withdrawing from the provision of accommodation.
The provision of accommodation to workers is widespread in some
sectors, for example agriculture and hospitality. The Commission would
like to hear both from workers who have accommodation provided for
them, and from those employers who provide accommodation to their
workers, to gain an understanding of how far the offset has protected
low-paid workers since it was introduced and also to see if there is
any evidence that the level of the offset has deprived workers of
accommodation that would otherwise be offered.
The consultation can be found at
The deadline for responding to this consultation is 10 September 2012.
This consultation is separate to the consultation launched in June,
seeking views on wider aspects of the NMW.
Notes to Editors
1. The Low Pay Commission is a statutory body whose role
is to advise the Government on the National Minimum Wage. Each February
it submits a report making recommendations as to what the NMW rates
should be. Information on how the Commission undertakes its activities
can be found at http://www.lowpay.gov.uk/lowpay/what_we_do.shtml
2. The Commission has produced thirteen reports. These are available
from the Stationery Office Bookshops or the Commissionís website at: http://www.lowpay.gov.uk
3. The members of the Low Pay Commission are: David Norgrove (Chair),
Chair of PensionsFirst and Deputy Chairman of the British Museum; Susan
to the CBI on employment issues and a member of Acas Council; Professor
Bob Elliott, Professor of Economics and Director of the Health
Economics Research Unit at the University of Aberdeen; Neil Goulden,
Director, Neil Goulden Consulting Ltd; John Hannett, General Secretary
of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers; Peter Donaldson,
Managing Director of D5 Consulting Ltd; Professor Stephen Machin,
Professor of Economics at University College London and Research
Director, Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics;
Frances OíGrady, TUC Deputy General Secretary; and Heather Wakefield,
National Secretary for UNISONís Local Government Service Group.
4. The Government provided the Commission with its remit on 14 June.
The remit asked the Commission to:
In evaluating and making recommendations in the areas set out above,
the LPC is asked to take account of the state of the economy and
employment and unemployment levels. There is also the wider policy
context to consider, including pensionsí reform, the introduction of
universal credit, the raising of the personal tax allowance, any
implications of the proposed abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board
for England and Wales (pending the outcome of the legislative process),
and other Government reforms that may affect the NMW.
- Monitor, evaluate
and review the levels of each of the different NMW rates and make
recommendations on the levels it believes should apply from October
- Review the
contribution the NMW could make to the employment prospects of young
people, including those in apprenticeships. As part of this review, the
LPC is asked to consider the implications of the introduction of the
Raising of the Participation Age in England on the youth rates and the
- Review the
- Evaluate the
regulations for salaried hours workers and consider whether there are
any measures that the Government could take to ensure that it is as
simple and easy as possible for employers to make sure they are paying
at least the NMW and for individuals to be confident that they are
being paid at least the NMW.
The LPC is asked to report to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime
Minister, and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and
Skills by the end of February 2013.
5. The National Minimum Wage for those aged 21 and over is
hour. For those aged 18 to 20 the rate is £4.98 per hour. The minimum
wage for 16 and 17 year olds is £3.68 an hour. The Apprentice Minimum
Wage is £2.60 per hour for those aged under 19 or in the first year of
their apprenticeship. The Government has accepted the Commissionís 2012
recommendation that the adult and Apprentice Rates should increase to
£6.19 and £2.65 respectively from 1 October, and that the other two
rates should remain unchanged.
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BIS Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use Licence.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2012-07-27 09:07:33 in Business Articles