Young people fail to grasp minimum wage rights

The
majority of young people don’t know their minimum wage rights, and tend to
think the minimum wages for both adults and young people are higher than they
are, according to a TUC poll.

The
poll, included in a report published on the eve of the TUC’s youth conference,
found young people aged 16 to 21 are overwhelmingly opposed to lower rates for
young people, and believe they should be paid the same rates as older
colleagues.

The
TUC poll shows that only one in three (32 per cent) young people know that
those aged 22 and over should get £4:10 an hour and only one in six (17 per
cent) know that the rate for 18-to-21-year olds is £3:50 an hour. Only 15 per
cent know that 16 to 17 year olds are not entitled to a minimum wage.

Young
people consistently think that minimum wage rates are higher than they are. Six
times as many (60 per cent) think the 18-21 year old rate is more than £3.50 as
think it is below the real rate (10 per cent). Twice as many (40 per cent)
think those over 21 get more than £4.10 as think they get less (19 per cent).
Half of young people guess a figure for the rate for 16-to-17-year-olds even
though there is no minimum wage for this age group.

The
TUC report, Young People: What do they Know?, warns that workers could be
exploited if they do not know their rights.

TUC
General Secretary John Monks said: "Young people seem to know little about
the minimum wage. They think it is more generous than it is in practice and
when they find out how low it is, they strongly back the TUC’s call for an end
to wage age discrimination. The worry is that rogue employers will exploit
their ignorance."

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