Calls for Extending Minimum Wage on 20th Anniversary

THE NATIONAL Minimum Wage (NMW) came into effect 20 years ago today, but young workers are missing out on £200 million a year in minimum wage pay, according to new TUC analysis published today, on the 20th anniversary of the NMW.

Analysis shows that the average 21-24-year-old minimum wage worker is earning £800 a year less than over 25s.

The TUC is calling for the anniversary to be marked by bringing all over 21s onto the full minimum wage rate and for the minimum wage to be raised to £10 an hour as soon as possible.

The TUC first called for the minimum wage to be introduced in 1986.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Unions played a key role in winning the minimum wage at a time when many were warning that it would bankrupt the country.

“But as we mark its 20th anniversary today, we can see there’s still more to be done.

“Young workers are still getting a raw deal on pay. Their bills aren’t any cheaper, but they have to make ends meet with less. That’s just not fair.

“And with in-work poverty rising, we need to make the minimum wage fit for the future by raising it to £10 as soon as possible.”

Since 1999, the NMW has not been paid universally by employers. Last year, bad bosses were forced to return £15.6 million to workers and cough up another £14 million in fines.

The new NMW rates that apply from today are:

April 2018 April 2019
Age 25 and above £7.83 £8.21
21-24 £7.38 £7.70
18-20 £5.90 £6.15
16*-17 £4.20 £4.35
Apprentices** £3.70 £3.90

*16-year olds above school leaving age

**Apprentices below age 18 and older apprentices in first year of training. Other apprentices are entitled to the relevant age-based minimum wage rate.

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