Response to Low Pay Commission consultation on National Minimum Wage

Kate Ewing argues that the National Minimum Wage is ineffective as a worker protection.

In her response on behalf of IER to the Low Pay Commission’s (LPC) 2021 consultation into the National Minimum Wage, Kate Ewing considers the performance of the National Minimum Wage at protecting low-paid workers.

She notes that it has been allowed to fail during the pandemic, with furloughed and isolating workers not necessarily receiving the legal minimum; the fact the rate is too low to cover the true cost of living (3) and that there are ongoing problems in the care sector with regards to enforcement and what activities are agreed to constitute ‘work’.

The response highlights the important contribution made by minimum wage workers during the pandemic, including how they were both crucial to the crisis response yet allowed to be made vulnerable by their employment contracts.

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