Is the National Living Wage Unfair on Young People?

By Adam Turner
26 Oct 2017

A recent survey of employers found those under 25 can earn between £820 and £6,279 a year less because they are not entitled to the legal National Living Wage.

The YouGov survey by the Young Women’s Trust found that more than a million young people are being paid as much as £3.45 an hour less for doing the same jobs as older workers, despite having the same responsibilities and the same outgoings.

Currently anyone who is of school leaving age up to 24 will receive the National Minimum Wage, which is £7.05 from 21 to 24, £5.60 from 18 to 21, £4.05 for under 18s and £3.50 per hour for Apprentices. Those aged 25 or over receive the National Living Wage which is currently £7.50 per hour.

Young People’s Pay: Our Expert’s Opinion

Croner Reward are Pay and Benefits experts and have more than 40 years of benchmarking experience. According to Croner’s benchmarking expert Clare Parkinson businesses should always base wages and salaries on the role and not on the individual.

Clare said:

“In accordance with age discrimination legislation, organisations cannot base their recruitment and salary benchmarking on how old an employee is but the level of skill and competence required for the role.

“When you talk about young people who have just left school, they have not had the opportunity to develop a skill yet. When young people start in lower paid roles, the purpose is not to discriminate against them because of their age, but to allow them to develop their core skills and begin to progress.

“We would advise organisations when setting pay to look at the role and level of skill required. This should be underpinned by what the market tells us and pitched to accommodate entry level, up to fully competent, to allow for progression. “It is important for all organisations to have a mechanism for pay progression that encourages young people into the workforce and gives them scope to develop.”

Croner Reward is one of the most accurate and knowledgeable benchmarking resources in the UK, which organisations can utilise to set their pay and benefits packages for employees. To find out more contact 0808 145 3490.

About the Author

Adam has been with Croner Reward for 3 years. He has over 15 years’ experience working with various organisations and sectors. He has a strong passion, breadth and depth for job evaluation and salary benchmarking. He has a strong customer focused work ethic, ensuring clients always get the best possible outcome for their organisations from their Reward Projects.

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