Employers should be paying their workers more than the absolute minimum, says UNISON. Speaking on the day the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rose to £6.08, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “This rise is a welcome cushion, but, with the price of …

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Employers should be paying their workers more than the absolute minimum, says UNISON.

Speaking on the day the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rose to £6.08, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “This rise is a welcome cushion, but, with the price of everyday essentials such as food, gas and electricity going up massively, it won’t lift enough working people out of the poverty trap.

“We want a more substantial figure and a decent living wage for all – a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, regardless of age. Good employers should be looking at the mounting pressures on their workforce and paying them more than the absolute minimum.

“The government must be vigilant in enforcing the minimum wage – those earning the least should not have to suffer the most because of the recession. Without decent pay they will sink further into poverty and the economy will fail to recover.”

The union, which fought for the introduction of the NMW more than a decade ago, will continue to campaign for a substantial increase, in line with the rising cost of living.

The union’s recent submission to the Low Pay Commission also called for all employees to have access to a living wage of £8 an hour.

The National Minimum Wage annual increase today rises by 15p to £6.08 an hour for adults. The rate for 18-20 year olds will increase by 6p to £4.98 an hour, by 4p to £3.68 an hour for 16-17 year olds, and by 10p to £2.60 an hour for apprentices.

General secretary Dave Prentis said: “More than ten years on the minimum wage has become a valuable safety net for millions of workers. It is a lasting legacy of the trade union and labour movement.”

 

 


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