UNION

At least 500,000 young people paid less because of their age

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05 Jul 2018
Press Office

Press Office

More than half a million young people suffer from wage discrimination from being paid less than the full adult minimum wage, based on GMB analysis of unpublished ONS Labour Force Survey data, first quarter (January to March) 2018.

It’s hard to describe how frustrating it is being paid less money than someone doing the same job as you just because of your age. It doesn't matter how hard you work or how much effort you put in, you are simply not 'worth' as much. It makes you feel undervalued.

The worst thing about my experience was that I was actually getting paid the same as everyone else, until my boss realised how young I was. Once he did, he docked my wages.

As a result, I couldn't afford to move out with my partner, or even think about having a a social life.

I'm not asking for much, simply to be paid the same wage as my colleagues for doing the same job.

It’s not like I get discounted bills or rent, so why should I be employed at a discounted rate of pay?

Alice Pitchford, GMB Young Member who experienced being paid less because of her age

The current full National Minimum Wage rate is £7.83 per hour. However, employers are able to pay £7.38 per hour to workers who are aged between 21 and 24, and only £5.90 per hour for workers who are aged 18 or over but not yet aged 21.

GMB is backing a Private Members Bill calling for age banding in the National Minimum Wage to be scrapped, which is set to be debated by MPs in the House of Commons this Friday (6 July). 

Hundreds of thousands of young people across the country are getting an unfair deal from this Government.

Companies can currently pay under 25's up to 46% less for doing the same job as older, sometimes less experience colleagues.

This policy has little to do with ability- it discriminates on the basis of age and nothing else and shows this Government doesn’t value the contribution young people make to our workplaces and economy.

We have heard from countless young members how this discriminatory policy has a negative impact on their lives and traps young people 'in-work poverty'.

Many young workers have young families to look after and housing costs to pay, and cannot afford their living costs even with two adults working.

This effects all young people in every constituency in the country, so we hope the bill will be supported across the political spectrum on Friday.

Melanie Bartlett, GMB National Young Members’ Lead

 
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