GMB Young Workers


GMB Young Workers

Welcome to
GMB Young Workers

GMB Young Workers is the Network for all GMB members aged up to and including 30. We campaign and organise for better rights, pay and conditions for young people at work. Get in touch with us if you are a young member looking to get involved! 

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Your Rights as a Young Worker


Everyone at work deserves to be treated fairly, but sometimes we find it difficult to know whether or not we are within your rights to speak up or challenge a decision our employer has taken. As an employee, you will always have the right to;

  • Work in a safe and healthy environment
  • Recieve your contracted wages, or at least the National Minimum Wage
  • Be trained how to carry out your job safely
  • Protection from unfair treatment and discrimination
  • Refuse work which could put you in serious danger
  • Join a trade union

The best way of ensuring you are treated fairly at work is by being a member of a union.

Join GMB


Your Rights During The Coronavirus Pandemic

GMB has produced a range of information to help members understand their rights during the coronavirus pandemic. You can enter the GMB Coronavirus Hub for information on everything from social distancing and PPE to returning the kids to school safely and using public transport.

Enter the Coronavirus Hub

There are also a range of short guides to help you understand your rights and keep you, your family and your colleagues safe during the pandemic.

Your Rights During Coronavirus

Health and Safety- Your Legal Rights


Returning to Work after Covid-19


Your Working Hours


Under 18

  • No more than 8 hours a day / 40 hours per week.
  • Full 30 min break after 4.5 hours
  • 12 hours off between shifts/ workdays and two days per week.


Over 18?

  • No more than 48 hours per week, unless you have agreed to opt out (your choice).
  • At least 20 min break after 6 hours
  • 11 hours off between shifts/ workdays and one full day off per week or two days per fortnight.


Your Pay


The government sets a minimum amount you must get paid on average for the hours you work. This is called the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or the National Living Wage (NLW) if you’re aged 25 or over. If you do not believe you are being paid correctly you should contact your rep.


Current rates for the minimum wage

The minimum wage rate varies depending on your age and whether you're an apprentice.

Wage band              Current rate from 1 April 2020 Previous rate (April 2019 to March 2020)
25 and over £8.72 £8.21
21 to 24 £8.20 £7.70
18 to 20 £6.45 £6.15
Under 18 £4.55 £4.35
Apprentice £4.15 £3.90

Minimum wage rates are reviewed every year. They usually change in April if there's an increase. 


Who gets the apprentice rate

You’re entitled to the apprentice rate if you’re an apprentice aged:

  • under 19
  • 19 or over, and in the first year of your current apprenticeship agreement

If you're 19 or over and have completed the first year of your current apprenticeship, you're entitled to the minimum wage for your age.


Your Apprenticeship


GMB's Apprentice Network has advice and guidance on a range of issues for GMB apprentice members.

Advice for GMB Apprentices


Your Heath & Safety


Do you work on a computer?

Your employer should adjust your desk, chair and computer to make sure it isn’t going to cause aches and pains or damage your eyes. They should also pay for your eye tests and put some money towards glasses if they are needed to work on a computer.


Do you lift, carry or move things?

You should be fully trained in the safest way to do this before you have to do it. Do not do it if you are feel that it is too heavy or unsafe.


Do you work with chemicals?

If you work with chemicals (such as cleaning fluids or hair dyes) you should be provided with free gloves and small rooms need to have ventilation – open windows or working extractor fans. You may need a mask, don’t be afraid to ask.


Do you work on the road?

Bikes, motor cycles and cars must be roadworthy and safe. You should be provided with protective equipment such as high visibility jackets, suitable helmets, gloves and cold / wet weather clothing. You should be given a phone or radio so that you can contact management in emergencies.


Is violence and abuse an issue?

If you are at risk of violence and abuse at work, your employer needs to do something to try to prevent this from happening to you. This could be things like violence and aggression training, not having workers working on their own or providing security guards.


Is there a risk of slips, trips or falls?

Your employer should do something to make slips and trips less likely, e.g. fitting nonslip flooring, keeping the floor clean and tidy or providing non slip shoes. You shouldn’t work at height for example on ladders, staircases or lifting equipment unless you have been fully trained and feel safe doing it.


Could you get cuts or burns?

You should be trained fully before using knives and food slicers must not be used if the guarding is broken or missing.

Hot items should be carried with gloves or other protection and large pots of liquid shouldn’t be moved without a lid.


Do you work outside?

In winter you should be provided with suitable wet and cold weather clothing, such as boots, waterproof jackets and trousers, extra layers, gloves and hats.

In summer you should be provided with sunscreen and hats, you may be provided with lighter clothing but only if it is safe to do so. In some cases full cover will still be needed to prevent cuts and grazes.

Plenty of water should be available at all times as well as somewhere warm, dry and clean for you to each lunch, make hot drinks, use the toilet and wash your hands.


Fire Safety

You must be made aware of what happens if there is a fire, where you must go and what routes you can take. There should be regular fire alarm tests and practice evacuations.



You should be trained in your role before you have to do the job. Your training should include information about:

  • Any possible hazards and risks,

  • How to protect yourself – e.g. what to wear or how to do the task safely,
  • Basic health and safety and fire evacuation procedures in your workplace.


What to do if an incident occurs

Report all accidents, incidents and attacks to your employer and get them recorded in the accident book. Also tell your GMB Health & Safety Rep or Shop Steward, they will make sure your employer does something to prevent anyone else being hurt in the same way.

If you think it's serious enough, you could also contact UnionLine on 0300 333 0303 to make a claim for compensation. As a GMB member, your legal fees would be covered to ensure you get the justice you deserve.


My Treatment at Work

Your employer has a responsibility to prevent bullying and harassment in the workplace. If you ever feel a victim of these, talk to your union for advice as soon as possible. This is especially important if you feel you are being victimised because of your characteristics (your gender, sexual orientation, faith or belief, disability, race or age) as there are laws in place to protect you from this.

If you feel you are treating unfairly at work, you should speak to your manager and/or your trade union rep.

More about Discrimination at Work


My Right to Get Support at Work

Joining a trade union is the only way of ensuring that you have independent support during your employment. GMB Union will be there when you need it most.

You have a right to be accompanied by your trade union rep at formal disciplinary meetings, and your union rep will help you prepare for any meetings relating to your employment you are concerned about. 

Where we have lots of GMB members in one workplace and have an agreement with your employer, your union will also be able to help negotiate pay rises and improvements to your terms and conditions. Your union will ensure your workplace is fair.

You have a right to be a member of a trade union. If you are are having any problems with your apprenticeship, get in touch with us below for support. 

I am a GMB member

I am not yet a GMB member

Wages not based on ages

Young workers get paid less than people they work alongside, even though they are doing the same job. GMB Young Members campaign for fair pay for all - wages should not be based on ages. 

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Make a difference

At GMB Union, we have Young Members Networks all across the country for GMB members aged 30 and under. From launching local campaigns for student workers, to co-ordinating national campaigns, to fight for an increase in the minimum wage, we work together to bring about change.

These self-organised groups (SOGs) run their own campaigns based on their collective priorities and give members a chance to work alongside other like minded people to make a difference.



What can I get involved in?

Whatever your skills or experience, as long as you have a desire to improve things for yourself and others you will find your place in the GMB community.


Every GMB branch has a Youth Officer Position, which is often an easy way to get involved. That said, why not become a workplace rep or take up any other position in branch? Reps have more power in the workplace, and can help themselves and their colleagues get what they deserve form their employer. When you become a rep you get loads of training from the union and mentoring from your branch.

Sign up to become a rep


Each GMB Region has a Young Members Network, run by young workers in the local area. These groups work together across workplaces to identify common issues for young workers and then campaign together to change them. To find out more about what’s going on in your area, simply get in touch with your Regional Equality Officer.

Regional Equality Officer Contact Details


GMB has a National Young Members Network and Committee, which run national campaigns, hold various training schools and facilitates young worker democracy within the union. The National Network engages with young members through their region, so if you would like to get involved on a national level, get involved in your region first.



Training Opportunities for Young Workers

At GMB we are one big community, which means you’ll be supported whatever you want to achieve for you, your colleagues and your fellow young workers.


I want to help my colleagues  

From organising your workplace to understanding employment law, GMB has a range of training opportunities available for reps.

Sign up to become a rep

If you aren’t sure if you’d like to become a rep yet, GMB runs a National Organising School every year (usually January), where you can come and find out a bit more about the union and the role of a workplace rep before signing up. The school is hosted by union officers and young workers, and offers a range of workshops to help with your personal development. You can register your interest using the contact box at the top of the page.

GMB regions also put on a range of training opportunities throughout the year, which you will receive information on through your Regional Young Members Network.


I want to learn more about the union/labour movement

GMB holds two annual schools for Young Members which aim to provide members with a better understanding of society and people power.

Durham Political School Get an understanding of the big topics of the day and how politics interacts with our work and our lives. Learn the skills to influence change and make a difference in wider society. Runs alongside Durham Miners Gala, the biggest gathering of workers and procession of brass bands celebrating working class achievement in the UK.

Tolpuddle Festival and History School Gain an insight into how the union movement was formed and what impact it has had on our lives today. Learn about the struggles of normal people and the huge achievements we’ve won by working collectively. Runs alongside Tolpuddle Festival, a combination of music, debates and collective spirit which celebrates the founders of the UK trade union movement.

You can use the contact box at the top of the page to register your interest.


I want to develop myself in my employment

GMB offers a range of development opportunities for all members. From providing free level 2 qualifications to offing bursaries for study, GMB’s Lifelong Learning Hub has something for everyone.

Enter GMB Lifelong Learning



More about GMB Equality

Alongside GMB Young Workers, we also have self organised groups (SOGs) for Women, BAME, LGBT+ and Disabled workers. These groups also come together to campaign for issues that effect them, and many regions have local groups you can get involved in.

GMB Equality Network


Additional Links


Join us and become a GMB member today.
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