A new report from the Low Pay Commission (LPC) has found that the number of workers paid less than the statutory minimum wage in the UK increased in 2018. In April 2018, 439,000 workers were paid less than the hourly minimum wage rate they were entitled to. Of these, 369,000 were workers aged 25 and over paid less than the National Living Wage (NLW). This is an increase of around 30,000 on the previous year’s level of underpayment of the NLW, or a two percentage point rise in the share of workers entitled to that rate.
The report also found that women are more likely than men to be paid less than the minimum wage, and underpayment is higher for the youngest and oldest workers. The largest numbers of underpaid workers work in hospitality, retail, cleaning and maintenance, with childcare being the occupation with the highest proportion of underpaid workers.
The LPC has recommended that the government continues to invest strongly in communications to both workers and employers around minimum wage compliance and enforcement.