From Welfare Weekly: The SNP has called on the UK government to “end age discrimination” in minimum wage rates at the Budget.
David Linden, one of the youngest MPs at Westminster, has written to the Chancellor demanding the UK government “stop discriminating against young people” and change the law to ensure that all workers are entitled to a real Living Wage – currently £8.75 in Scotland, £10.20 in London.
Under current UK legislation, younger workers can be discriminated against with lower wages, despite doing the same job.
Since 1st April 2018, workers over the age of 25 are entitled to a minimum wage of at least £7.83 an hour, while those aged 21 to 24 are only entitled to £7.38 an hour, those aged 18 to 20 only £5.90 an hour, those under 18 just £4.20 an hour, and apprentices can be paid as little as £3.70 an hour.
The 28-year-old SNP MP for Glasgow East, who left school at the age of 16 to work as an apprentice, said the UK government had “failed younger people” by refusing to change the law – leaving younger workers thousands of pounds a year worse off.
David Linden said: “Millions of families across the UK have suffered from falling wages and squeezed incomes under the past decade of Tory austerity – but younger workers have also faced discriminatory minimum wages rates, meaning they can legally be paid less for doing the same job.”
From The Independent: Dominic Raab, Theresa May’s new Brexit secretary, previously called for Britain to use negotiations with the EU to scrap workers’ rights.
[Read article on Independent website…]
From the TUC: A plot by #Tory ministers to scrap the Working Time Directive in the UK reported today could deny paid holidays to millions of workers, and make long working weeks the norm, the TUC has said.
The Sunday Times and Sun both report plans by ministers – including Michael Gove and Boris Johnson – to scrap the Working Time Directive after Brexit.
Losing the protections of the directive means that:
- 7 million workers could lose rights to paid holidays – 4.7 million of them women, and many on zero-hours or part-time contracts.
- Even more workers could be forced by bosses to work weeks longer than 48 hours.
- Workers could lose the right to lunch and rest breaks.
- Night workers could lose some health and safety protections.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This is a straight-up attack on our rights at work. Millions could lose their paid holidays, and be forced to work ridiculously long hours.
From BBC News: Fees for those bringing employment tribunal claims have been ruled unlawful, and the government will now have to repay up to £32m to claimants.
The Tory government introduced fees of up to £1,200 in 2013.
Government statistics showed 79% fewer cases were brought over three years – trade union Unison said the fees prevented workers accessing justice.
The Supreme Court ruled the government was acting unlawfully and unconstitutionally when it introduced the fees.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The government has been acting unlawfully, and has been proved wrong – not just on simple economics, but on constitutional law and basic fairness too.”
From The New Statesman: Theresa May opposed the introduction of many of these rights as a backbencher and shadow minister; and that several of her Cabinet ministers have spoken about their desire to reduce employment protections, one even calling for them to be halved last year. The government has even announced it is looking at removing the right to strike from transport workers, which would contradict their May’s promise to protect workers’ rights before we’ve even left the EU.
[Read full column on New Statesman website…]