Sports Direct/Minimum Wage

I share your concerns about any allegation that workers are not being paid the full amount that the law requires. While it would not be appropriate for me to comment on this specific case, I can assure you that the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate and HMRC follow-up every complaint that they receive in these areas.

Rest assured, the Government takes the enforcement of minimum wage laws very seriously and I welcome that it has increased the enforcement budget from £8.1 million in 2010 to £13.2 million in 2015-16. From April 2016, the penalty for breaches of minimum wage legislation will also double from 100 to 200 per cent of arrears, so that employers comply with the law and working people receive the money they are due.

I also welcome that a new team of compliance officers will be established within HMRC to investigate the most serious cases of employers not paying the relevant minimum wage. The team will have the power to use all available sanctions, including penalties and criminal investigation. The Government will also continue to name and shame employers who do not pay their workers what they are entitled to.

I expect employers to pay working people at least a decent legal minimum wage and from next April, a National Living Wage for workers aged 25 and over will be introduced.