EOC calls for end to two-tier minimum wage

All
youngsters must be entitled to the full National Minimum Wage (NMW) to help
bridge the gender pay gap, the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has
claimed.

Jenny
Watson, the organisation’s deputy chair, said that if all 16- and 17-year-olds
– including those doing Modern Apprenticeships – were entitled to the NMW, the
gap between women’s and men’s average pay would be reduced.

The
EOC said young women aged between 18-20 working in manual jobs already earned
18 per cent less a week than young men of the same age doing manual jobs.

The
gap for those in non-manual work is 9 per cent.

"Giving
all young people, including those who are doing modern apprenticeships, the
right to receive the minimum wage would be a significant step towards closing
the gap between women’s and men’s average pay.

"The
undervaluing of the work women do is strongly reinforced by the low pay most
young women doing apprenticeships receive," said Watson.   

By Ross Wigham

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