YOUNG VOICES

National Living Wage: Young Workers Vent Anger At Pay Disparity

The inter-generational divide deepens.

01/04/2016 13:27

Young workers have vented their anger at the introduction of a national living wage limited to those aged over 25.

Those aged 24 and under will not be affected by Friday's increase in wages to £7.20, regardless of whether they do the same job as those who're just a few years older.

The disparity hasn't been lost on hardworking young people, who say how old they are has little to do with the bills they have to pay or the responsibilities they have.

Yet this isn't the first time young people have rebuked the government over pay rates.

Last year, Tory minister Matthew Hancock defended enforcing different minimum wages for young people and over 25s saying the former had been deliberately denied the pay-rise in line with their colleagues.

Hancock said: "This was an active policy choice... Anybody who has employed people knows that younger people, especially in their first jobs, are not as productive, on average."

Unsurprisingly, his comments provoked fury at the time.

The new national living wage is a new compulsory minimum wage premium from the British government - a new higher legal minimum that employers have to pay their staff.

It is £7.20 an hour or around £15,000 a year if you work a 40-hour week.

The national living wage is a significant pay increase for those entitled to it.

HuffPost UK

The previous minimum wage for people over 21 is £6.70 an hour - around £13,900 a year if you work a 40-hour week. 

It applies only to workers over 25.

Yet the rates of pay have been criticised for not providing a "true" living wage, which is around £8.25 outside of London, according to the Living Wage Foundation.

Defending the decision to limit the new wage to under 25s, a spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills told HuffPost UK last week that it is "harder for young people to get employment, so low wages are an incentive for people to hire them."

Nonetheless, young workers appear incensed that their work is seen as less valuable than that of their older colleagues.

And Labour MP Justin Madders summed up the mood of young workers on April Fools' Day.

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS