What Is Minimum Wage In Great Britain

What is the Minimum Wage in Great Britain?

The minimum wage in the United Kingdom is the legal minimum wage that employers must pay their workers. This wage is also known as the ‘living wage’. The current rate for the minimum wage, as of 2020, is £7.83 an hour for workers aged 25 and over, and £6.78 an hour for those aged 21 to 24.

The minimum wage rate was introduced in 1999, and is regularly reviewed and updated by the government. In 2018 the then chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, announced the largest ever increase in the minimum wage, with an increase of 4.9% in 2020.

The purpose of the minimum wage is to prevent employers from exploiting their workers; as it is illegal for them to pay a wage which is below the minimum wage rate. The minimum wage rate is also intended to encourage employers to pay fair wages, and to improve the living standards of workers.

Great Britain is not the only country to have a minimum wage, in fact minimum wages are commonplace in Europe and are becoming more and more common throughout the world. However, Great Britain is sometimes seen as being ahead of the pack when it comes to minimum wages; with the current rate for those aged 25 and over being one of the highest in Europe.

But while the minimum wage rate in Great Britain is relatively high, the actual living standards of workers still vary drastically. Many workers in the United Kingdom still have to resort to working extra hours to make ends meet, or taking on additional jobs, simply because their wages are just not enough. This situation is of course a cause for concern, and shows that more needs to be done to ensure that all workers in Britain are receiving a fair and decent wage.

Minimum Wage – The Debate

Debates surrounding the minimum wage are nothing new; over the years there have been a number of campaigns for an increase in the rate. On one hand, proponents of an increase argue that it is essential if workers are to be able to afford to live decent lives, and for employers to be incentivized to pay fair wages. On the other hand, opponents argue that increasing the minimum wage would bring with it a number of problems, such as higher unemployment.

In the United Kingdom, the debate has been largely focused on the ‘living wage’ rate, which is designed to ensure that workers are able to afford the cost of living. The current rate is £9.30 an hour for workers aged 25 and over, and £7.84 for those aged 21-24.

The increasing focus on the ‘living wage’ is indicative of a trend towards a more ethical approach to business. This has been driven in part by campaigns such as the Poverty Alliance’s ‘Living Wage Foundation’ and ‘Real Living Wage’ campaigns, both of which strive to ensure that working people are able to receive wages that are adequate to cover basic living costs.

The Effects on the Economy

In addition to the ethical concerns surrounding the minimum wage, there are also some economic considerations to take into account. It is widely accepted that increases in minimum wages can lead to higher levels of unemployment, as employers may have to reduce their number of employees in response to the wage increase.

This has been backed up by research, which suggests that for every 10% increase in the minimum wage, employment can fall by up to 6% for younger workers. On the other hand, some research findings suggest that minimum wage increases can lead to increased productivity, with higher wages leading to higher levels of motivation and job satisfaction.

In addition, research has also suggested that increases in the minimum wage can have positive effects on the economy as a whole; with increases in wages leading to increases in consumer spending, which can then in turn lead to higher economic growth rates.

The Implications of Increasing the Minimum Wage

Increasing the minimum wage is a controversial and complicated issue, with implications for employers, workers, and the economy as a whole. There is no easy answer as to how to approach the issue, and what the ideal rate ought to be.

That being said, there are some steps that can be taken to ensure that the minimum wage is set at a level which is beneficial both to employers and workers alike. For example, the government can work with employers to ensure that they are paying workers a fair and reasonable wage, as well as encouraging employers to increase wages in line with inflation and the cost of living.

The government also has a role to play in ensuring that the minimum wage is kept under review, and updated regularly in line with economic and market conditions. This would ensure that workers are not left behind, and that employers are incentivized to pay fair wages to their employees.

The Role of Unions

Unions can also play a role in ensuring that workers receive fair wages, by campaigning for increases in the minimum wage. In addition, unions can also help to ensure that employers do not exploit their workers by offering wages that are below the minimum wage. By doing so, unions can help to protect the rights of workers and ensure that they are receiving a fair wage for their work.

It is also important for workers to be aware of their rights, and to know what the minimum wage rate is in their area. This will ensure that workers are not being exploited, and that their wages are being kept in line with the minimum wage rate.

Would an Increase Lead to Higher Prices?

One of the most common arguments against increasing the minimum wage is that it would lead to higher prices, which would in turn lead to lower demand for goods and services. However, this argument fails to consider the economic realities of the situation. Research has shown that whilst an increase in the minimum wage would lead to short-term increases in prices, in the long run it would lead to greater overall economic growth.

This is because higher wages would lead to increased consumer spending, which in turn would lead to increased economic growth. This is something that has been seen in countries such as the United States, where increasing the minimum wage has been linked to higher economic growth rates.

The International Picture

The minimum wage is not unique to Britain, and is in fact a common feature of many developed countries. In the United States, the federal minimum wage rate is currently set at $7.25 an hour, whilst in Canada it is set at C$10.45 an hour. In Australia, the minimum wage rate is A$18.93 an hour, whilst in New Zealand it is NZ$17.70 an hour.

It is clear that the minimum wage rate in the United Kingdom is relatively high compared to other countries, and this is something that can be seen as a positive. But regardless of the rate, it is important to ensure that workers in Britain are receiving a fair and decent wage, and a decent standard of living.


The minimum wage is an important issue, and one that can have far reaching implications for the economy of a country. It is important for the government to ensure that the minimum wage rate is kept under review and updated regularly, in order to ensure that workers are receiving a fair and decent wage.

In addition, it is also important for employers to ensure that they are paying their workers a fair wage, and to take into account the cost of living when setting wages. This will ensure that workers in Britain are receiving the wages that they deserve.

Margaret Hanson

Margaret R. Hanson is a journalist and writer from the United Kingdom. She has been writing about the UK for over a decade, covering topics such as politics, current affairs, and culture. Margaret is committed to producing work that is engaging, informative, and thought-provoking.

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