The Low Pay Commission (LPC) was established following the introduction of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Act 1998 to advise the Government on the NMW rates and other issues of relevance.
In its remit for the 2013 report, the Government asked the LPC to review the regulations that apply where employers provide accommodation for their workers.
The accommodation offset – currently set at a limit of £4.73 a day and rising to £4.82 on 1 October 2012 – is the only benefit in kind that can count towards payment of the NMW. Its purpose is to act as a protective measure, to discourage employers both from levying excessive accommodation charges and from withdrawing the provision of accommodation.
The LPC has now launched a public consultation to obtain the views of workers who have accommodation provided for them and of employers who provide accommodation for their workers, in order to gain an understanding of how far the offset has protected low-paid workers since it was introduced and also to see if there is any evidence that the level of the offset has deprived workers of accommodation that would otherwise have been offered.
The consultation closes on 10 September 2012.