Over 1% of British jobs pay less than minimum wage

Over a quarter million jobs in Britain are paid at below the national minimum wage, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The number of jobs under the minimum wage, 272,000 in spring 2004, amounts to 1.1% of all jobs in the labour market.

There are two rates for the national minimum wage – one for those aged between 18 and 21 (£3.80 per hour) and one for those aged 22 and over (£4.50 per hour).

In Spring 2004, 45,000 jobs, or 2.4%, held by those aged 18 to 21 were paid below £3.80 per hour. Among those aged 22 and over, 227,000 jobs, or 1%, were paid below £4.50 per hour.

People in part-time work were over three times as likely as people in full-time work to be paid less than minimum wage, with 2.3% of part-time jobs and 0.7% of full-time jobs falling below the minimum wage.

Jobs held by women were almost twice as likely to fall below the minimum wage as jobs held by men – 1.4% compared with 0.8%. This was entirely due to the greater number of women in part-time jobs, the ONS said.

In a statement the agency said: "It is important to note that these estimates do not measure non-compliance with the national minimum wage legislation. The survey used to provide these estimates does not indicate whether individuals fall into a category that is exempt from the legislation, such as apprentices or new trainees."


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