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The UK national minimum wage and age discrimination

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The national minimum wage in the UK took effect from 1 April 1999. From the beginning it has treated workers under the age of 22 years as a separate group, now paying them a development rate, rather than the full adult rate. The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 contained an exception for the age-related pay levels. The issue discussed is whether the lower rates paid to 18-21-year-olds and 16-17-year-olds can be objectively justified in accord with the Framework Directive on Equal Treatment in Employment and Occupation. This objective justification requires a legitimate aim and a proportionate means of achieving this aim.
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Keywords: equality; national minimum wage; policy analysis; public policy; social policy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Law Department, Middlesex University Business School, London, UK

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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