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The Employment Act 2008's amendments to the national minimum wage legislation

Simpson, Bob (2009) The Employment Act 2008's amendments to the national minimum wage legislation. Industrial Law Journal, 38 (1). pp. 57-64. ISSN 0305-9332

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Identification Number: 10.1093/indlaw/dwp001


In the 10 years since they came into force in April 1999, the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 (NMWA) and the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999, S.I.1999 No. 584 (NMW Regulations), which were made under it, have been amended on a number of occasions. (This is apart from the, usually annual, uprating of the main NMW rate in regulation 11 of the NMW Regulations, and the lower rates in regulation 13.) While many of the changes can be seen as matters of largely technical detail (such as the National Minimum Wage Enforcement Notices Act 2003 referred to below), there have been some important modifications to the law which reflect developments in government policy. Notable among these are the inclusion of 16- and 17-year-old workers within those entitled to the minimum wage in 2004, albeit at a separate, lower, rate (reg 13(1A)), the replacement of ‘fair estimate agreements’ for calculating the working time of workers engaged on ‘output work’ by ‘rated output work’, also in 2004 (regs 24–26A, on which the government has said that it will report back in 2009: Government Evidence to the Low Pay Commission 2008 Non-economic evidence, Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, September 2008, p 4), and the abolition of the little used lower training rate (often referred to as the ‘development rate’) for certain adult workers during the first six months of ‘accredited training’ in 2006 (reg 13 (2)–(6), repealed by the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 S I 2006 No 1031 reg 49(1), Sched 8, para 58(1) (3)). Although deceptively technical in appearance, the amendments made to the NMW legislation by the Employment Act 2008 could prove to be of equal importance to those earlier changes. They fall into two groups, both of which are expected to take effect in April 2009. First and maybe foremost they reflect government concern over the adequacy of the enforcement provisions which the legislation contains. Second, they also make changes to the provisions in the NMWA which identify those workers who are entitled to be paid at at least the appropriate NMW rate. Both sets of changes merit critical assessment in the light of the objectives of the NMW legislation.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 Bob Simpson
Divisions: Law
Subjects: K Law > KD England and Wales
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2009 15:54
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 00:52

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