On Saturday 1 October, the national minimum wage went up for young workers under 25, which is welcome news. But whilst the gap is closing a bit on the higher 'national living wage' brought in for over 25s in April, the government is still retaining the lower rate for working people aged 21 to 24. This in spite of the fact there’s no evidence to suggest under 25s are any less productive or less likely to find work.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady puts it like this:
“There is no justification for paying people in their early twenties less… they work just as hard as older workers, yet are entitled to less at the end of the week. That’s simply not right. These young workers are getting a raw deal.”
That’s why the TUC is going to continue to bang the drum for the full adult minimum wage of £7.20 an hour for workers aged 21 to 24, and bigger increase too for younger workers and apprentices.
The new minimum hourly wage rates
- £6.95 for younger workers aged 21 to 24 (up from £6.70);
- £5.55 for 18- to 20-year-olds (up from £5.30);
- £4.00 at age 16 and 17 (up from £3.87); and
- £3.40 for apprentices under 19 and older apprentices in the first year of their course (up from £3.30).
If you'd like to check out what you're entitled to, try our minimum wage calculator.