Press release

Government announces new commissioners to the independent Low Pay Commission

Two new commissioners have been appointed to the Low Pay Commission, Business Minister Jo Swinson announced today (25 March 2015).

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Two commissioners, Professor Bob Elliott and Neil Goulden, are standing down. They will be replaced by 2 new commissioners: Professor Sarah Brown and Clare Chapman will take up their new roles from 25 March 2015.

The appointment is for 3 years with the option of reappointment, and is made in accordance with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) guidelines.

Business Minister Jo Swinson said:

The Low Pay Commission’s independent, expert advice is critical to ensuring the ongoing success of the National Minimum Wage, balancing the need to protect the earnings and jobs of the lowest-paid workers with affordability for employers.

I would like to thank the outgoing commissioners for their contribution and I am very pleased to welcome the new commissioners to this important role.

Notes to Editors

1.Biographies of new commissioners:

Professor Sarah Brown

Sarah graduated from the University of Hull in 1989. She gained her MA in Economics at the University of Warwick in 1990, her PhD from the Loughborough University and was appointed to a lectureship there in 1994. Sarah was promoted to a senior lectureship in 2001 at the University of Leicester. She took up a Chair in Economics at the University of Sheffield in 2005 and was Head of Department from 2006 to 2011. Sarah is currently a director of the Institute for Economic Analysis of Decision-making (InstEAD) at the University of Sheffield. She is a research fellow at the IZA (Institute for the Study of Labour, Bonn). Sarah was a member of the Grant Assessment Panel C of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) from 2010 to 2013 and a member of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework Economics & Econometrics Sub-Panel. Sarah is currently a member of the Royal Economic Society’s Steering Group of the Conference of Heads of University Departments of Economics, the Women’s Committee of the Royal Economic Society and the Royal Economics Society Council. Her research interests lie in the areas of labour economics, household finances and applied microeconometrics.

Clare Chapman

Clare Chapman is a non-executive director of Kingfisher Plc where she is also Chair of the Remuneration Committee. Prior to that she was a non-executive and Remuneration Chair for the TUI Travel Group. Most recently Clare has been the People Director at BT Group and between 1999 and 2006 was the Group HR Director at Tesco. Clare began her career in fast moving consumer goods with Quaker Oats and Pepsico with assignments in the UK, USA and Europe and became the HR Vice President for PepsiCo’s soft drinks operations in Europe. Between 2007 and 2011 Clare was the Director General of Workforce for the NHS and Social Care. Clare has also served on a number of expert bodies, including the Good Work Commission and the Modern Apprenticeship Taskforce. Clare holds a Masters degree in Management Learning from University of Lancaster, UK and a Bachelors degree in Economics, Politics and Sociology from Leicester University.

2.The Low Pay Commission (LPC) is a non-departmental public body responsible for providing advice on the National Minimum Wage (NMW). The Commission reports to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Secretary of State, and consists of a Chair and 8 other members. Three of the commissioners have an employee/trade union background, 3 have an employer background and 3 are independent / academic labour relations specialists.

3.The LPC monitors, evaluates and reviews the impact of the National Minimum Wage (NMW), with particular reference to the effect on pay, employment and competitiveness in low paying sectors and small firms; the effect on different groups of workers; the effect on pay structures; and the interaction between the minimum wage and the tax and benefit systems. The Commission reviews the level of the NMW adult rate, the youth rates, and the Apprentice Rate, and makes recommendations, if appropriate, for change.

4.The appointment to the Low Pay Commission (LPC) will take effect from 25 March 2015 and will last 3 years, with the option of reappointment. The appointment requires a commitment of, on average, 16 days per year. Remuneration is on the basis of a daily rate of £242.12.

5.This appointment was made following an open selection process conducted in accordance with the Code of Practice and other guidance issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Published 25 March 2015