The Fixer: National Living Wage

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Dear Fixer,

My 20-year-old son has just started a part-time job in a local fast food restaurant, for which he is being paid £5.50 an hour.

He says this is as much as his friends are earning and that he is happy with it and does not want me to interfere. But it seems very low to me and I am worried he is being taken for a ride by his new boss.

I understand that the minimum wage is now £7.20 an hour. Is this correct? And how can I take up a complaint with his boss without running the risk of him losing the job?

A Hinton, Sheffield

Dear Mr Hinton,

As of earlier this year, employees aged 25 or over are supposed to receive a "National Living Wage" of at least £7.20 an hour.

However, employers can pay those under the age of 25 less without breaking the law.

Someone of your son's age is only entitled to a "National Minimum Wage" of £5.30 an hour, while those aged between 21 and 24 should be earning at least £6.70 an hour.

So your son's employer is actually paying him slightly more than he has to at this stage.

That said, if your son stays in the job after his 21st birthday or the rate for under 21s increases while he is working there, he can ask for a pay rise at that point.

Check out the Government website for more details on living and minimum wages rates and when they are due to change.

The Fixer

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