Young workers would be £2,500 better off per year under Labour plans to extend the Real Living Wage to under 18s.
Jeremy Corbyn will tell a Labour gathering in Birmingham today he would abolish the minimum wage “youth rate” in government and set a baseline of £10 an hour for all workers.
Under-18s are currently only entitled to a minimum wage of £4.35 per hour, just over half the National Minimum Wage of £8.21 which is only paid to those aged 25 and over.
The change would make the average young worker better off by £48.45 per week, or £2,519 per year.
Jeremy Corbyn will say: “Equal pay for equal work is hardly a controversial idea, so why are we discriminating against young people?
“You don’t get a discount at the shops for being under 18. But if the person serving you on the other side of the counter is young, they could be on half the wage of their colleagues.
“It’s time to end this discrimination. Young people’s work should be properly valued, not exploited by employers to cut their wage bill. If they’re doing the job, pay them the wage – the Real Living Wage.”
Average real pay for 16 and 17 year olds is still below its 2006 level, and young workers are more likely to be in insecure work and on zero hours contracts than their older colleagues.
The Labour leader will also criticise the Conservatives’ record, accusing the government of “discriminating against young people” by trebling tuition fees, scrapping the Education Maintenance Allowance and failing to tackle the housing crisis.