Boost for homeworkers as government insists on minimum wage

Homeworkers
could be set to receive a pay boost after the Government said their
remuneration should be linked to the National Minimum Wage.

Employment
relations minister Gerry Sutcliffe has announced new wage regulations that will
see home- and piece-workers paid in relation to the minimum standard.

More
than 170,000 people could be set to benefit and must now be paid the minimum
wage for the number of hours it takes an average worker to complete an agreed
block of work.

Homeworkers
are employed by many companies to perform a variety of roles such as packing or
assembling products.

The
measures, which will begin in October, will also force employers to give much
clearer information about the rate of pay staff are expected to work for.

In
April 2005 there will be a further increase with employers required to pay the
average worker 120 per cent of the National Minimum Wage for the agreed block
of work.

www.dti.gov.uk

By Ross Wigham

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