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Paying a lower minimum wage to young workers is unfair – Usdaw calls for an end to rip-off youth rates

Date: 02 December 2022 Retail trade union Usdaw again calls for young workers to be paid a higher minimum wage after TUC research suggests 900,000 under-21-year-olds were being left ‘massively out of pocket’, with young people losing an average of £2,800 every year.
The main minimum wage is currently £9.50 an hour, but it is £9.18 for 21 to 22-year-olds, £6.83 for 18 to 20-year-olds and £4.81 for under-18s. These rates are going up in April to £10.42, £10.18, £7.49 and £5.28 respectively, following recommendations to the Government from the Low Pay Commission.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Usdaw has long campaigned for an end to rip-off youth minimum wage rates, there is no justification for two people doing the same job to be paid differently just because of their age. We have ended this unfair practice through negotiation with employers in our major agreements and it has always been wrong that the law allows pay discrimination by age.
“Usdaw calls for a minimum wage of at least £12 per hour now, as a step towards £15, for all workers regardless of age. The pandemic clearly demonstrated just how reliant the country is on low-paid key workers, so if we are to truly ‘build back better’ surely they deserve the dignity of decent pay. With inflation now out of control, the Government must provide the help low-paid workers so desperately need as they struggle in a worsening cost of living crisis.”
Frances O’Grady - TUC General Secretary says: “Too many young workers are being left hugely out of pocket because of outdated youth rates of the national minimum wage, almost a million workers under 21 face this pay penalty. Young people up and down the country are being hammered by the cost-of-living crisis, like everyone else, they need more money in their pockets now. It’s time to end this glaring injustice so that all workers are entitled to the same minimum wage. It’s time for ministers to deliver a plan for a £15 minimum wage so that we can put an end to low-pay Britain for good.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers