Young members of the GMB union visited Parliament this week to meet with Holly and Jack Dromey, shadow minister for labour, who are both supporting the campaign for under 25s to be included in the National 'Living Wage'.
The discrepancy in the application of the minimum wage means that young people who do the same work can be paid substantially less, a massive disparity in pay that flies in the face of the right to equal pay for equal work.
The national minimum wage rates since 1 October 2016 are £6.95 per hour for those aged 21 to 24 – three per cent less than the national living wage – and £5.55 per hour for those aged 18 to 20 – a whopping 23 per cent less.
Former Tory skills minister Nick Boles earlier this year admitted that the Government had no proof under-25s were too unproductive to warrant the national living wage – “While labour productivity statistics are estimated by sector, there are no official statistics estimating the productivity of workers by their age.”
"It was great to meet with these young people who have been directly affected by this government's decision to deny them a fair wage and hear their stories.
"3.44m young people could be affected by these lower wage rates and it is an absolute outrage that they have been told they are not worth £7.20 an hour."
The GMB have talked to Rebecca Pitchford, 20, who told them:
“Because of my age the Government says I can live on £5.55 an hour whilst my colleague earns £7.20 an hour for doing exactly the same job. Rent and living expenses are exactly the same, so why aren’t the wages?
"Working in retail this unequal pay is common and earning less stops me from getting on in life. I can’t afford to study part time to get a better job, have driving lessons or even think about owning a car. I’m frustrated at the fact I am expected to live on so little, whereas if I was older I would automatically be paid more.”
For more information on Holly's work on this issue click here.