TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady has called for all workers, regardless of their age, to be given the full minimum wage, with young workers being bumped up to the adult rate.
National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates were increased on 1st October 2016, but there is still a gap between what younger workers are paid and what those aged 25 and over are paid, and O’Grady doesn’t believe this is fair.
The increase in the NMW means workers receive £6.95 per hour if they are aged 21-24, compared to £7.20 per hour for those aged 25 and over. The rates for apprentices, those aged under 18 and 18-20 year-olds also increased on 1st October 2016, but they are significantly lower than the 25 and over rate.
NMW rates are set to increase again in April 2017, and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond is expected to make an announcement regarding them in the autumn statement, which will be made on 23rd November 2016.
“October’s increase will be welcome news for young workers, but there is no justification for paying people in their early 20s 25p an hour less than other adults,” said O’Grady.
“Their employment rate is rising and they work just as hard as older workers, yet are entitled to less at the end of the week. That’s simply not right. These young workers are getting a raw deal – it’s time for the government to bump them up to the full minimum wage.”