MINIMUM WAGE: REFORM BY MINUTE PARTICULARS

16 January 2011

There have been reforming amendments to the legislation about the mandatory national minimum wage.

Since 1 October 2009 tips paid through an employer’s payroll cannot be used to make up a worker’s pay to the mandatory national minimum wage level: they are additional to that wage. The amending regulations are below.

From 1 January 2011 payments made by an employer to a worker for travelling expenses, eligible for tax relief under section 338 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003, cannot count towards the minimum wage. This change, put in train by Labour and carried through by the Tory Libdem government, was made after a consultation earlier this year and an unsuccessful legal challenge and will largely benefit low paid workers including those in Cornwall. A full account of the court case, which gives the background to the change, is here. A link to the amending regulations is below.

I have given more details and links than most people will want because I am making the point that reform does not always have to be grand; it is by attention to details, by minute particulars, that we can also effect many important changes that help people. These regulations show the importance of reviewing legislation. The texts of the amending regulations are dry but work beneficial change for workers here.

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“Labour well the minute particulars…He who would do good to another must do it in minute particulars” William BLAKE (1757-1827) ‘The holiness of minute particulars’ in Jerusalem, lines 51 and 60.

National Minimum Wage Wage (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2010

National Minimum Wage 1999 (Amendment) Regulations 2009 . Regulation 5 is the relevant one.

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