Press release

Re-appointment of Heather Wakefield as commissioner to the Low Pay Commission

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

The appointment is for a further three year term commencing from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2014, and is made in accordance with the Office of the…

The appointment is for a further three year term commencing from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2014, and is made in accordance with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) guidelines.

**Notes to editors: **

  1. The LPC is a Non Departmental Public Body responsible for providing advice on the National Minimum Wage. The Commission reports to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State and consists of a Chair and eight other members.

  2. The LPC monitors and evaluates the impact of the National Minimum Wage, 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 National Minimum Wage adult rate and the development rates and makes recommendations, if appropriate, for change.

  3. In making its recommendations, the Commission is asked to have regard for the wider economic and social implications; the likely effect on employment, especially amongst disadvantaged groups in the labour market, and inflation; the impact on the costs and competitiveness of business; and the potential costs to industry and the Exchequer.

  4. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public.

  5. Biographical Detail

  • Heather’s first job was as a Feature Writer on a magazine for rock musicians called “Beat Instrumental”. In 1976 she went to work for the London Borough of Newham as a trainee social worker, becoming qualified in 1978. In 1979 she moved to Lewisham to become an action researcher at Lewisham Women’s Employment Project. In that role she published a number of research reports on women’s employment in docklands from 1900 on, women’s unemployment and women’s training needs.__

_- _1986-1987 saw Heather working freelance as a researcher on women’s employment in the south east, the pay and conditions of child care workers in London. From 1978-1989 she worked at NCCL (now Liberty) as the Women’s Rights Officer before moving to NUPE in the research department, concentrating on equality and pay bargaining issues. From there she became a negotiator in NUPE’s Greater London region, moving to Head Office as a National Officer for UNISON in 1996. She is now Head of UNISON’s Local Government section, covering over 800,000 of the Union’s members.__

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Notes to Editors

Contact Information

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Division COI Phone




Name Lucy-Michael Sutton Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Phone 020 7215 5977 Fax