GMB welcomes minimum wage rises but condemns ageist formula

UK’s largest trade union has criticised the current minimum wage system for
being too complicated and ageist.

GMB said although the National Minimum Wage (NMW) was "one of the
Government’s greatest achievements" the current three-tier system
discriminated against those under the age of 21.

it’s current format, the NMW applies differently to three separate age groups:
the main adult rate for those over 22, the development rate for those aged
between 18 and 21 and a new tier for 16- and 17-year-olds announced earlier

general secretary Kevin Curran fears having separate categories will confuse
employers and lead to abuse and problems with enforcement.

GMB believes that employers should pay the rate for the job and not the age of
the worker. Creating three tiers based on purely on age legitimises age
discrimination by allowing companies to pay employees that do the same job
different wages based purely on age.

Low Pay Commission confirmed its recommendations today which include:

A £3 minimum hourly rate for 16- and 17-year-olds

From October, a rise from £4.50 to £4.85 for adults – an increase of 8 per cent

From October, an increase to £4.10 from £3.80 for 18-21-year-olds.

By Ross Wigham

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