Government beats off minimum wage challenge

The Government today fought off a legal challenge against new minimum wage legislation which comes into force on New Year's Day.







A High Court judge in London rejected criticism of a change in the rules which determine what should count as forming part of an employee's remuneration.



Mr Justice Kenneth Parker dismissed a judicial review action brought against Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.



He ruled that there was nothing unlawful or irrational in relation to a legislative amendment to the Minimum Wage Regulations relating to the treatment of travel expenses payments.



The judge announced: "I find nothing irrational, unlawful or disproportionate in the conclusion reached by the Secretary of State that the amendment will materially simplify the regulatory regime for the minimum wage and, in particular, will materially enhance the ability of both employer and low paid employee to recognise whether or not they are paying and receiving at least the minimum wage prescribed by law."



The challenge was brought by the Cordant Group, a company with a number of subsidiaries which provide manpower staffing services in the security, cleaning and recruitment sectors to major companies and public sector organisations throughout the UK and Eire.



In his ruling the judge said Cordant "employs about 30,000 employees, many of them in unskilled jobs that are paid at or near the national minimum wage, and has for several years operated arrangements that will be affected by the challenged legislative change".



Mr Justice Parker said that with effect from January 1 an amendment to the rules meant that payments made by an employer to a worker in respect of travelling expenses "that are allowed as deductions from earnings under section 338 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pension) Act 2003" will not count towards meeting the obligation to pay the national minimum wage.



In rejecting permission to appeal, the judge said he had reached the "firm conclusion at the end of the day that this challenge was an attack on the economic merits of regulatory reform affecting the labour market in the guise of a common law and legal equality case".



He added: "I can discern no arguable basis why this amendment, which in what I have found to be the lawful conclusion of the Secretary of State brings substantial benefit to low paid workers, and is in the public interest, should not be implemented, as planned and announced, on January 1 2011."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory