The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has urged the Low Pay Commission (LPC) to raise the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates for younger workers.
Young employees are ‘at risk of being left behind’ by the NMW, the TUC warned as it gave evidence to the LPC.
Currently, workers aged between 21 and 24 are entitled to at least £7.05 an hour. The NMW for those aged between 18 and 20 is £5.60, and the minimum wage for employees aged under 18 is £4.05 an hour. Apprentices are currently entitled to at least £3.50 per hour.
The National Living Wage (NLW) applies for workers aged 25 and over, and currently stands at £7.50 an hour. NMW and NLW rates change every April.
The TUC is calling for the LPC to extend the NLW to workers aged 21 and above, and increase the NMW rates for workers aged between 16 and 20.
It has also called for a rise in the apprentice NMW rate.
Commenting on the issue, Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, said: ‘Minimum wage rates aren’t increasing fast enough and the government’s target of £9 an hour by 2020 now seems a fantasy.
‘The minimum wage needs a serious boost in the coming years, especially for younger workers.
‘With employment, the economy and earnings set to grow next year, employers will be able to afford a decent rise.’