date: 8 June 2011
embargo: For immediate release
Commenting on the publication today (Wednesday) of the Low Pay Commission's remit for 2011/12 by the Department for Business, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
'The TUC welcomes this new remit, which demonstrates a solid commitment to both the national minimum wage and the independent Low Pay Commission.
'We particularly welcome the focus on internships, which are becoming a necessity in many industries for young people getting their first job.
'Many employers offering unpaid internships are breaking minimum wage law with impunity, and these arrangements exclude the majority of youngsters who don't have the contacts or financial backing to work for free for months at a time.
'However we are concerned about the planned abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board, which sets rates for skilled jobs in agriculture. This will inevitably lead to falling incomes in farming communities.
'The Low Pay Commission, which brings together employers, unions and leading academics, has a strong track record of delivering fair, evidence-based recommendations to government.
'It is vital that the integrity of the Commission is maintained so that the minimum wage increases every year and employers always play their full part in the battle against in-work poverty.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
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Issued: 8 June, 2011