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Equal Pay for Equal Work

The Conservative government excluded workers under the age of 25 from the increased minimum (living) wage.

Since the recession peak in 2009 the wages of young workers has fallen by 25% with young people under 25 now being paid on average 42% less than other workers.

Youth pay rates are clearly discriminatory and a basic breach of the concept of equal pay for equal work. The Human Rights Commission has welcomed proposals to abolish the differentials based on age. Some countries operate much fairer systems than the UK.

National Living Wage Discriminates Against Young Workers

The so-called National Living Wage, which came into force in April 2016, amounts to age discrimination against young workers. The new £7.20 rate will boost the minimum wage for many working people, but does not apply to workers under the age of 25.

Investing In Yoing People

Investing in young people through apprenticeships is fundamentally important to any long-term strategy for economic growth and all apprenticeships should offer high quality training as well as good prospects and a fair wage.

Apprentices Shockingly Low Minimum wage Starts At Just £3.40

The minimum wage for apprentices, which currently starts at just £3.40 an hour, remains shockingly low and a significant number of employers fail to pay even the miserly legal minimum.

Low pay affects workers in many ways. The inability to gain independence, and feelings of low self-worth and low morale are keenly apparent in areas where low pay is so prevalent.

The Government decision to limit the National Living Wage to 25 year olds and over could encourage employers to re-introduce lower youth rates.

The Youth Unemployment Rate Is The Worst That It Has Been For 20 Years

The youth unemployment rate is the worst that it has been for 20 years, with young people 3 times more likely to be unemployed. Some would argue that the pay differentials increase employers appeal to hire young people, clearly this is not the case.

Most young people are getting the same knock backs of no experience, no job. Yet very few companies are prepared to invest in the training required to give young people the experience they need to succeed.

There should be a minimum rate of pay for a job, and that rate should apply to any worker who carries out that job. There should not be different age-related pay rates.

What Are We Going to Do

  • Campaign for the abolition of youth rates and strive for a system that is based on equal pay for equal work, making the case that young people should not be discriminated against through lower youth rates.
  • Launch a widespread public campaign decrying the government’s effort to create an underclass of cheap young labour and to call for the age cut off for the “living wage” to be abolished.
  • Campaign for fair pay for apprentices and a living wage wherever possible for all workers regardless of age
  • Produce literature and research on the issues of low pay of young people that can be used to support intra-union campaigns.
  • Combat any further attempts by the government to increase that age at which the National Living Wage is implemented
  • Campaign for the National Living Wage to apply to all workers and for a living wage of £10 per hour for all, including young workers.
  • Ensure that the campaign is inclusive of all workers including freelancers and the self-employed.