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?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high