- Introducing a five-year target to increase the minimum wage to a more stretching (unspecified) proportion of median earnings. A degree of flexibility is retained in the framework: if due to changing economic circumstances the Low Pay Commission (LPC) believes the target cannot be met, they must write to the Secretary of State setting out their reasons. The burden of proof will fall on the LPC whereas in the current system it lies with the Secretary of State if he/she chooses to contest the LPC’s recommendation;
- Empowering the LPC to establish taskforces of key stakeholders in low pay sectors that are identified as having the potential to pay higher wages with the potential of setting a higher recommended or statutory rate for the sector;
- Changing the remit of the LPC to give it a stronger role with a longer-term focus – implicit in the above recommendations;
- Improving enforcement;
- Introducing a number of measures to ‘encourage’ employers to pay a Living Wage: procurement, tax incentives etc.
Stephen Boyd - STUC