National Minimum Wage Bill - continued        House of Commons

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Records
Duty of employers to keep records.     9. For the purposes of this Act, the Secretary of State may by regulations make provision requiring employers-
 
 
    (a) to keep, in such form and manner as may be prescribed, such records as may be prescribed; and
 
    (b) to preserve those records for such period as may be prescribed.
Worker's right of access to records.     10. - (1) A worker may, in accordance with the following provisions of this section,-
 
 
    (a) require his employer to produce any relevant records; and
 
    (b) inspect and examine those records and copy any part of them.
      (2) The rights conferred by subsection (1) above are exercisable only if the worker believes on reasonable grounds that he is or may be being, or has or may have been, remunerated for any pay reference period by his employer at a rate which is less than the national minimum wage.
 
      (3) The rights conferred by subsection (1) above are exercisable only for the purpose of establishing whether or not the worker is being, or has been, remunerated for any pay reference period by his employer at a rate which is less than the national minimum wage.
 
      (4) The rights conferred by subsection (1) above are exercisable-
 
 
    (a) by the worker alone; or
 
    (b) by the worker accompanied by such other person as the worker may think fit.
      (5) The rights conferred by subsection (1) above are exercisable only if the worker gives notice (a "production notice") to his employer requesting the production of any relevant records relating to such period as may be described in the notice.
 
      (6) If the worker intends to exercise the right conferred by subsection (4)(b) above, the production notice must contain a statement of that intention.
 
      (7) Where a production notice is given, the employer shall give the worker reasonable notice of the place and time at which the relevant records will be produced.
 
      (8) The place at which the relevant records are produced must be-
 
 
    (a) the worker's place of work; or
 
    (b) any other place at which it is reasonable, in all the circumstances, for the worker to attend to inspect the relevant records; or
 
    (c) such other place as may be agreed between the worker and the employer.
      (9) The relevant records must be produced-
 
 
    (a) before the end of the period of fourteen days following the date of receipt of the production notice; or
 
    (b) at such later time as may be agreed during that period between the worker and the employer.
      (10) In this section-
 
 
    "records" means records which the worker's employer is required to keep and, at the time of receipt of the production notice, preserve in accordance with section 9 above;
 
    "relevant records" means such parts of, or such extracts from, any records as are relevant to establishing whether or not the worker has, for any pay reference period to which the records relate, been remunerated by the employer at a rate which is at least equal to the national minimum wage.
Failure of employer to allow access to records.     11. - (1) A complaint may be presented to an industrial tribunal by a worker on the ground that the employer-
 
 
    (a) failed to produce some or all of the relevant records in accordance with subsection (9) of section 10 above; or
 
    (b) failed to allow the worker to exercise some or all of the rights conferred by subsection (1)(b) or (4)(b) of that section.
      (2) Where an industrial tribunal finds a complaint under this section well-founded, the tribunal shall-
 
 
    (a) make a declaration to that effect; and
 
    (b) make an award that the employer pay to the worker a sum equal to 80 times the hourly amount of the national minimum wage.
      (3) An industrial tribunal shall not consider a complaint under this section unless it is presented to the tribunal before the expiry of the period of three months following-
 
 
    (a) the end of the period of fourteen days mentioned in paragraph (a) of subsection (9) of section 10 above; or
 
    (b) in a case where a later day was agreed under paragraph (b) of that subsection, that later day.
      (4) Where the industrial tribunal is satisfied that it was not reasonably practicable for a complaint under this section to be presented before the expiry of the period of three months mentioned in subsection (3) above, the tribunal may consider the complaint if it is presented within such further period as the tribunal considers reasonable.
 
      (5) Expressions used in this section and in section 10 above have the same meaning in this section as they have in that section.
 
Employer to provide worker with national minimum wage statement.     12. - (1) Regulations may make provision for the purpose of conferring on a worker who is not an employee the right to be given by his employer, at or before the time at which any payment of remuneration is made to the worker, a written statement.
 
      (2) The regulations may make provision with respect to the contents of any such statement and may, in particular, require it to contain-
 
 
    (a) prescribed information relating to this Act or any regulations under it; or
 
    (b) prescribed information for the purpose of assisting the worker to determine whether he has been remunerated at a rate at least equal to the national minimum wage during the period to which the payment of remuneration relates.
      (3) The regulations may make provision for the purpose of applying-
 
 
    (a) sections 11 and 12 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (references to industrial tribunals and determination of references), or
 
    (b) in relation to Northern Ireland, Articles 43 and 44 of the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996,
  in relation to a worker who is not an employee and any such statement as is mentioned in subsection (1) above as they apply in relation to an employee and a statement required to be given to him by his employer under section 8 of that Act or Article 40 of that Order, as the case may be.
 
 
Officers
Appointment of officers.     13. - (1) The Secretary of State-
 
 
    (a) may appoint officers to act for the purposes of this Act; and
 
    (b) may, instead of or in addition to appointing any officers under this section, arrange with any government department or any body performing functions on behalf of the Crown that officers of that department or body shall act for those purposes.
      (2) When acting for the purposes of this Act, an officer shall, if so required, produce some duly authenticated document showing his authority so to act.
 
      (3) If it appears to an officer that any person with whom he is dealing while acting for the purposes of this Act does not know that he is an officer so acting, the officer shall identify himself as such to that person.
 
Powers of officers.     14. - (1) An officer acting for the purposes of this Act shall have power for the performance of his duties-
 
 
    (a) to require the production by a relevant person of any records required to be kept and preserved in accordance with regulations under section 9 above and to inspect and examine those records and to copy any material part of them;
 
    (b) to require a relevant person to furnish to him (either alone or in the presence of any other person, as the officer thinks fit) an explanation of any such records;
 
    (c) to require a relevant person to furnish to him (either alone or in the presence of any other person, as the officer thinks fit) any additional information known to the relevant person which might reasonably be needed in order to establish whether this Act, or any enforcement notice under section 17 below, is being or has been complied with;
 
    (d) at all reasonable times to enter any relevant premises in order to exercise any power conferred on the officer by paragraphs (a) to (c) above.
      (2) No person shall be required under paragraph (b) or (c) of subsection (1) above to answer any question or furnish any information which might incriminate the person or, if married, the person's spouse.
 
      (3) The powers conferred by subsection (1) above include power, on reasonable written notice, to require a relevant person-
 
 
    (a) to produce any such records as are mentioned in paragraph (a) of that subsection to an officer at such time and place as may be specified in the notice; or
 
    (b) to attend before an officer at such time and place as may be specified in the notice to furnish any such explanation or additional information as is mentioned in paragraph (b) or (c) of that subsection.
      (4) In this section "relevant person" means any person whom an officer acting for the purposes of this Act has reasonable cause to believe to be-
 
 
    (a) the employer of a worker;
 
    (b) a person who for the purposes of section 31 below is the agent or the principal;
 
    (c) a person who supplies work to an individual who qualifies for the national minimum wage;
 
    (d) a worker, servant or agent of a person falling within paragraph (a), (b) or (c) above; or
 
    (e) a person who qualifies for the national minimum wage.
      (5) In this section "relevant premises" means any premises which an officer acting for the purposes of this Act has reasonable cause to believe to be-
 
 
    (a) premises at which an employer carries on business;
 
    (b) premises which an employer uses in connection with his business (including any place used, in connection with that business, for giving out work to home workers, within the meaning of section 32 below); or
 
    (c) premises of a person who for the purposes of section 31 below is the agent or the principal.
 
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Prepared 27 November 1997