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National Minimum Wage - Essay Example

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The National Minimum Wage is established as a legal right applied for all workers in the United Kingdom. Established on April 1st 1999, the purpose was to prevent any kind of exploitation of workers through unnecessarily low pay. The support for national minimum wage has always been phenomenally high…
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National Minimum Wage

Download file to see previous pages... However, a large group is also excluded from the laws applying to minimum wage: self-employed, voluntary workers and workers who have citizenship from outside the United Kingdom. Thus, while a majority is given fair pay in the country another majority is denied the rights to a basic minimum wage. This can be seen as a wager against the equality and justice minimum wages are to set up as is their role to improve economic efficiency.
A number of critics of the national minimum wage stood against it because of the great degree of gender discrimination in the field of employment (Morris & O'Donnell). Most of the workers who are covered by minimum wage rates are women. Not only does this affect the bargaining powers of trade unions, but fellow male employees see these women as responsible for taking up jobs that could have been held by men. Thus, while the rights of some are usurped, the minimum wage rate ensures the participation of women in the workforce and allows them an equal stand with their male counterparts. It is for this reason that the minimum wage affected part-time female workers to the highest degree when it was first implemented. A total of 19.75% women were affected by the minimum pay rate showing that women's employment is equal to that of men since 1999 (Low Pay Commission) . Thus, the gender bias often lead male counterparts to dislike the wage rate given set up because it encouraged pay and equality given to women. Also, statistics showed that this minimum wage did not affect women alone. Young workers, retired employees' ethnic minorities, workers with disability and even those with no qualifications also benefit greatly from the minimum wage. In fact, many ethnic and immigrant workers were seen as possessing an increasing rate of employment compared to the residents of the UK (Sciarra 2009).
The young group is also seen as facing a detrimental effect due to the implementation of minimum wage. The economic recession hit the youth the worst and reduced any chances of them earning more than the older employees in the labor market. Yet, the justification given for this is that the low wage rates are enforced to protect the older and experienced workers also allowing the young to gain sufficient training before they enter the labor market (Starr 1993).
However, there has been a great degree of criticism applied to the idea of a minimum wage rate (Davies 2004). First and foremost is the method through which employers respond to the wage rate. Not only are ideas like overtime and unsocial work hours omitted from the rates paid but it also allows the employee's total earnings to fall while their basic pay increases. This was proven in research carried out by the Low Pay Commission who discovered that a rise in wage rates in 2003 and 2006 were reduced in their impact because of the adjustments made by industries to lower their effect: changing pay structures and non-wage costs (2009). Thus, the minimum wage rates show no increase in productivity because the employers used other methods to control their profits. This was ample proof that the minimum wage rate was still incapable of creating an impact on the economy.
Yet, it is the lowest paying industries that make the biggest differences in the number of jobs giving minimum wage rate. In the UK, the ten low-paying industries are responsible for hiring 8.4 million jobs which are a third ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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