The Labour Government of Tony Blair did many things wrong, but at the same time it did a lot of good for Britain and made real changes to the lives of workers. Many take the National Minimum Wage for granted, but until Tony Blair came into power there was no such thing.
Over the time that Blair was in power there were many changes to the Minimum Wage and we now have a situation where there are THREE different scales for the Minimum Wage. At 16 you are entitled to £3.40 per hour, at 18 you are entitled to £4.60 per hour and at 22 you are entitled £5.52 per hour. This is unacceptable. At 18 you are, regardless of where you are in the UK, seen as an adult. However, you are not entitled to the same rate of pay as an adult.
USDAW, The Union of Shop Distributive and Allied workers, has been campaigning for this to change. USDAW believes (as do many others) that the full minimum wage should be a legal requirement at the age of 18.
The Minimum Wage was introduced by the Government in order to prevent the exploitation of workers in regards to pay. However, the Government’s own policy allows for such exploitation in allowing for an 18 year old doing the same job as a 22 year old to be paid £0.92 per hour less (more than £1,500 less on an average FT contract)!
This can make life difficult for those who do not stay in Education after the age of 18. They may be out working Full Time and having to support themselves yet they get less than someone just 4 years older.
At 18 we allow them to vote for the Government, but don’t guarantee them the full National minimum Wage.
At 18 we allow them to donate an organ, but don’t guarantee them the full National Minimum Wage.
At 18 we allow them to buy alcohol and cigarettes, but don’t guarantee them the full National Minimum Wage!
End the injustice! Write to your MP today and demand a change in the Law!