Calls for Minimum Wage Rise As Employment Hits Record High

By Sam Thomas | 25th August 2016 | 2 min read

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The Trades Union Congress has called for a rise in the National Minimum Wage after record employment figures were released in August.

Unemployment in the UK now stands at below 5%, the lowest rate since records began over 45 years ago. Additionally, with high profits being witnessed across the country, the TUC have called for a rise in the salaries of workers being paid the National Minimum Wage.

The TUC’s submission to the Low Pay Commission putting forward an argument for a rise states that the net rate of profit in UK-owned companies is now 13% – the highest in nearly 20 years. The service sector, which employs many workers on the minimum wage, sees profits of 19% – the highest since records began.

Traditionally rising each year, the TUC’s argument is that some businesses can afford to pay a higher rate that the National Minimum Wage, rather than simply keeping up with the annual rises.

Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary, says “the combination of large profits in the service sector and high employment shows that employers can afford a pay rise for minimum wage workers.

“Employers will always protest that the minimum wage in unaffordable. We need to look beyond the rhetoric and focus on the evidence. This is a golden opportunity to raise living standards for nearly two million low-paid workers.”

She added: “The government wrongly denies the full minimum wage to workers under 25. Under-25s face the same costs as older workers, and are highly productive. Young workers cannot be left behind. The full rate should be extended to everyone aged over 21 and the age pay gap closed.”

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