Under-25s push for national living wage equality

Workers under the age of 25 are missing out on more than £6,000 a year because they are not entitled to the national living wage (NLW).

Charity group Young Women’s Trust polled 4,010 people aged between 18 and 30, finding the average young worker is paid £3.45 an hour less for doing the same work as older people.

Over the course of the year, younger workers are receiving £6,279 less than their older colleagues.

Apprentices under the age of 25 fall short of the current NLW rate of £7.50 an hour, leaving them £7,280 a year worse off than workers over 25.

83% currently support the idea of raising the minimum wage for apprentices and 79% suggest equal pay by extending the NLW to under-25s.

Dr Carole Easton OBE, chief executive for Young Women’s Trust, said:

“Much more needs to be done to improve young people’s prospects […] significantly increasing the apprentice minimum wage and changing the law to ensure under-25s are entitled to the same NLW as everyone else.”

Checks and compliance

It is a legal requirement for all employers to pay their staff the NLW or national minimum wage (NMW).

Failure to do so will result in a fine from HMRC and the employer being named by the government.

NMW and NLW rates

Age From 1 April 2017
Over 25 £7.50
21 to 24 £7.05
18 to 20 £5.60
16 to 17 £4.05
Apprentices* £3.50

*Rate applies for under-19s or first-year apprentices.

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