The National Living Wage continues to shake up the low-paid labour market
but without radical responses from employers.
This is according to the Resolution Foundation report from May 2018; ‘Low Pay Britain 2018 (pdf)’, which looks at recent progress and trends in the low-pay labour market.
The report states that neither an increase in productivity nor a drop in employment are dominant effects of the National Living Wage. But it argues that policymakers need to get to grips with the new frontiers of low pay and make creative policy responses.
The report also shows that pay progression is not a reality for most low-paid workers and opportunities are unequally shared. Furthermore, the low pay gender pay gap is wide and under-examined.
Statistics for low pay in 2017 show:
- The share of employees in low pay fell from 19% to 18%, the equivalent of 4.9 million people – the lowest proportion since 1982
- 14% of men and 22% of women fell below the low pay threshold
- 36% of part time employees were low paid compare to 11% of full time employees
- 22% of employees were paid less than the voluntary Living Wage
The report concludes that the three challenges it highlights – progression, employer power and gender inequality – show that much could still be done to improve work for low earners.