Equal wages for all ages
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A question prominent among young workers: why are workers under 25 paid less than colleagues 25 and over for doing the same job?
It is ridiculous that there's a difference in the minimum wage when at 16 it is possible that a person on £4.05 an hour can be leaving school and home to go into further education or work. At 16, we are legally allowed to work full time, get married and have children. IMAGINE trying supporting a family from £4.05 an hour. When childcare in the UK costs a third of the average income (£28,000) it is a wonder why any parent would work at all, especially those younger than 25.
May I add, you wonder why so many young adults still live at home? If it was as affordable for a person under 25 to live independently as it is for a person over then you would find the figures of young adults moving out of home dramatically increase.
Now writing from a student perspective, a societal group whom are given government funding as well as working so therefore SHOULD be better off than those who are not studying:
Students loans in Scotland do not even cover rent for some students - leaving them impoverished or with very little money; resulting in them accumulating debt in order to afford basic necessities because many employers do not pay enough for students to subsidize without working more hours than is respectable with the high expectations of performance in education. Between student loan repayments and overdraft or bank loan repayments this is debt that can take a large portion of adult life to pay back.
Advocating on behalf of all students, the maximum student loan and bursary is £7625. This is the equivalent to working full time (40 hours per week, 52 weeks) at £3.66 per hour. HOW is it fair to expect this to be a liveable amount when an over 25 with similar outgoings are legally obliged to be paid £7.50 per hour? Even if they do not have dependents they are entitled to this amount. Most students work, often for minimum wage or similar because it is a neccessity to in order to survive and this still is not always enough. This is not an appeal for an increase in student loans but a firsthand example of the absolute need for higher pay.
Young people are unfairly exploited and sometimes hired simply because employers do not want to pay an adult the minimum wage. It's cheaper to employ and take advantage of young workers. We're taking steps towards equality in the workplace for women and ethnic minorities, the same should be done for young people. Not to mention older people who are highly protected in employment.
HOW can our state ignore the blatant discrimination towards young people? HOW can our state force the blame onto us for 16-24 being the highest rate of unemployment in age groups? The low rate of minimum wage encourages us not to work, which then has a knock on effect on employment in adults as generations progress.
We need equal minimum wage for all workers with the same job title or responsibilites. This is not just a want, this is not just a feeling of being treated as lesser, this is an absolute need.
The Equality Act 2010 protects people from being discriminated by age in employment within reason - within reason does not mean only applicable to the older person, so why are young people not treated with the same respect and value? Paying a younger person less for working the same job is direct discrimination.
April 2017 minimum wage figures:
16 & 17: £4.05
Not to mention the discrepancies in the amount it rises each year - sorry are young people not affected by inflation?
Young people in the UK want, need and deserve equality in the workplace so this is an appeal to the UK Government to give us exactly that.
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