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NEW MEMBERS AND TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR LOW PAY COMMISSION

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Trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt has published the new terms of reference for the Low Pay Commission - ...
Trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt has published the new terms of reference for the Low Pay Commission - the independent body which advises the government on the national minimum wage.

The government has asked the commission to continue to monitor and

evaluate the impact of the minimum wage and to make recommendations,

if appropriate, for changes to the rates. The commission have been

asked to report to the prime minister and the secretary of state for

trade and industry by the end of February 2003.

Ms Hewitt also announced the appointments of Adair Turner and Angie

Risley as the new chair and employer member at the commission, to

replace George Bain and Stephanie Monk who are standing

down.

Ms Hewitt said:

'The Low Pay Commission has been instrumental in ensuring that the

minimum wage has been one of this government's greatest success

stories. Despite some scepticism before the minimum wage became law

in April 1999, it is now supported on all sides. This achievement is

largely because the commission's recommendations have struck the

right balance between benefiting over 1.5 million low paid workers,

without putting any undue burdens on business.

'I would like to thank George Bain and Stephanie Monk for all

their hard work over the last four years. The Low Pay Commission has

been successful thanks to the qualities of those serving on it, and

the way they have worked together as a team. I am confident that the

commission will benefit from the expertise of its new members and

continue to provide expert advice on the minimum wage.'

Notes

Terms of Reference

1. The Low Pay Commission, has been set the following terms of

reference:

The commission has been asked to:

- continue to monitor and evaluate the impact of the national minimum

wage, with particular reference to the effect on pay, employment

and competitiveness in low paying sectors and small firms; the

effect on different groups of workers; the effect on pay

structures; and the interaction between the national minimum wage

and the tax and benefit systems;

- review the levels of both the main national minimum wage rate and

the development rate and make recommendations, if appropriate, for

change.

In making its recommendations, the commission has been asked to have

regard to the wider economic and social implications; the likely

effect on employment, especially amongst disadvantaged groups in the

labour market, and inflation; the impact on the costs and

competitiveness of business; and the potential costs to industry and

the exchequer.

The commission has also been asked to have regard to its current

research remit as published by the government on 16 October 2001.

This asked the commission to commission research investigating the

impact of the minimum wage on the employment levels of various age

groups, the link with training and skills and the impact of the

minimum wage on business as a whole and small businesses in

particular.

The commission has been asked to report to the prime minister and the

secretary of state for trade and industry by the end of February

2003.

Appointments

1. Adair Turner is vice chairman of Merrill Lynch Europe and was

formerly director-general of the CBI between 1995 to 1999. He is

replacing George Bain who is standing down.

1. Angie Risley, is group HR director at Whitbread and replaces

Stephanie Monk who is also standing down.

3. The new chair and employer member join William Brown,

Professor of Industrial Relations at the University of Cambridge;

David Coats, head of the Economic and Social Affairs Department at

the TUC; John Cridland, deputy director-general of the CBI; Paul

Gates, general secretary of the National Union of Knitwear, Footwear

and Apparel Trades; Ian Hay, chairman of the Scottish Association of

Master Bakers; David Metcalf, Professor of Industrial

Relations at LSE; and Margaret Prosser, deputy general secretary,

Transport & General Workers Union.

4. Copies of the LPC's Third Report (Volumes One and Two) on the

National Minimum Wage: Making a Difference are available from the

Stationery Office ISBN 0-10-150752-6 (Volume One) and ISBN

0-10-151752-1 (Volume Two) on telephone number 0870 600 5522.

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