Employers cut costs by paying younger staff less

workers’ union Usdaw has
highlighted a trend among some employers to pay workers aged between 18 to 21
less money than their older colleagues.

welcoming increases from 1 October to the National Minimum Wage, including the
first minimum rate for 16 and 17 year-olds, Usdaw has called on the Low Pay Commission to
examine the practice of some employers that has resulted in a pay cut for
younger workers.

of paying one rate of pay to all workers aged 18 and over, some companies are
introducing a lower rate for 18 to 21 year-olds and a higher rate for those
aged 22 and over. This is allowed under current National Minimum Wage

Lillis, deputy general secretary of  Usdaw,
said: "The vast majority of employers pay the adult rate at 18, but,
recently, several employers have been introducing lower pay for 18 to 21
year-olds. Not because these young people do not work hard, or as well, but
because companies can cut costs by paying them less."

1 October 2004, the new minimum rates of pay
will be:

  £4.85 per hour (up from £4.50 per hour) for
workers aged 22 and over

  £4.10 per hour (up from £3.80 per hour) for
workers aged 18 to 21

  £3 per hour for workers aged 16 and 17 (the
first time that this age group is covered by the National Minimum Wage)

By Mike Berry




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