Young Women’s Trust (YWT) is urging the government to crack down on employers after study reveals that one in five young workers (20 per cent of young women and 16 per cent of young men) are illegally paid less than the national minimum wage in England and Wales.
This figure jumps to one in four, (or 25 per cent), among young black people.
The survey - which was made up of over 4,000 people between the ages of 18 and 30 - indicated that London was the most likely place to be underpaid, with those in the east Midland being the least likely.
YWT, a charity that supports women aged 30 and under on low or no pay, highlighted that many young people are facing a financial crisis and falling into debts as a result of low wages.
Dr Carole Easton OBE, chief executive of YWT, claimed that paying young people under the minimum wage is immoral as well as illegal. Easton stated that:
“Low wages are leaving many unable to afford the basics. When the bus to work or an hour’s childcare cost more than an hour’s wages, it’s no wonder so many young workers are resorting to food banks.”
What is the national minimum wage in England and Wales?
The current rate for the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage is as follows:
- 25 years and over - £7.83
- 21 to 24 years old - £7.38
- 18 to 20 years old - £5.90
- Under 18 years old - £4.20
- Apprentice - £3.70