YOUTH RATE FOR MINIMUM WAGE SHOULD BE SCRAPPED
Senator Ged Nash has said that the youth rate (sub-minima rate) for National Minimum wage should be scrapped.
He was responding to the publication of a report by the Low Pay Commission on the issue.
He said, “I commissioned the Low Pay Commission to undertake a study on the application of lower minimum wage rates for young people.
“When the National Minimum Wage was first introduced, there was a concern that paying the full adult rate to young people would act as an incentive for younger people to leave education early and to take up full-time work.
“This concern was expressed and used as a rationale to support the application of a sub-minima rate for younger people in work. There is no evidence, one way or the other, to support this conclusion.
“This very welcome research, undertaken by the ESRI on behalf of the Commission shows that less than 6% of employees under 18 were on the ‘youth rate’, reflecting the low level of the usage of the rate among employers.
“The payment of lower rates of pay for the same work reinforces inequality and discrimination. It is also unnecessarily bureaucratic and burdensome for employers.
“There is no longer any justification if there ever was one for the payment of sub-minima rates for the National Minimum Wage and work should commence immediately to start the process of abolishing this unfair and unjust practice.”