Commission urged to end minimum wage age discrimination

UNISON has urged the Low Pay Commission to end age discrimination in the national minimum wage, which sees apprentices and workers aged under 21 paid less than ‘adult’ workers over 21.

The union’s submission calls for:

  • the apprentice rate of the minimum wage to be set at the same level as the youth rate;
  • advanced, higher level and older apprentices (18 and up) to be paid the adult rate;
  • the “development rate” for 18-20 year olds in line with the full adult minimum wage from 2015;
  • 16-17 year olds to be given “development rate” with a view to harmonising it with the adult rate within three years.

News of the call comes at the end of Living Wage Week and, as national young members’ officer Gary Williams writes in a blog on the issue: “But the real deal is the living wage. No age discriminatory rates, and no poverty pay – it’s only fair.”

November is also TUC Youg Workers Month; you can find Mr Williams’s blog and information on what UNISON young members are doing to mark the month on a dedicated section of the UNISON website.


Young Workers Month

Blog: End age discrimination in the national minimum wage

UNISON’s campaign for the living wage