Living Wage?

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Monday 30 January 2012 7.00pm
It's disappointing to see that the majority of job ads on the forum offer work at below the 'London Living Wage' of 8.30/hr.
From the 'Housekeeper' post:
'Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB) is a social enterprise and development trust which seeks to make London's South Bank a better place in which to live, to work and to visit.'
Well CSCB, you can start by upping the 6.25/hr on offer?
Tuesday 31 January 2012 11.43am
If they pay the minimum wage you can get a top up from the government to help with rent/council tax cost and cost of living.

You get more help earning less than you do earning a good wage!
Tuesday 31 January 2012 2.48pm
That's true Pops, but I've never quite understood why my taxes should be used to subsidise low paying employers.
Tuesday 31 January 2012 3.08pm
some employer do use it as a top up which is wrong but other employers genuinely cannot aford to pay more than the minimum wage and may not be able to take on staff if thay had to pay more
Tuesday 31 January 2012 3.33pm
Suppose its a way of the Government not giving you full benefits. All about stats and people being in work. I suppose if the Government were to release information of how much money is spent on "topping up" people's income, it would be quiet alarming!!!
Tuesday 31 January 2012 3.48pm
Sorry if this sounds stupid (and is slightly off-topic) but I'd just like to clarify: are you saying if someone living in London secures a job that pays less than 8.30 per hour, you can apply to get it topped up to that sum in benefits?

And another question, does anyone know how an "intern" is defined, and are they covered in the employment law? Or is it some loophole that's just being exploited by unscrupulous employers? I just don't understand how a firm can advertise for an unpaid/very low paid/expenses-only intern if they will, essentially, be doing a proper job.
Tuesday 31 January 2012 4.12pm
The use of the term intern, I believe, is totally flawed now. It has become a way of rich kids being able to get advantages in gaining experience over poorer ones who have to pay to live from their own pockets.

Tanya de Grunwald of the Guardian newspaper put it that "There is no legal definition of an intern, but the national minimum wage (NMW) law says that anybody who qualifies as a worker must be paid at least 5.93 an hour if aged 21 and over, rising to 6.08 from 1 October. Do you have set hours and responsibilities? Are you contributing work that's of value to your employer? Then, unless the placement is part of your course, or your employer is a charity, it's likely the company is breaking the law in letting you work for nothing."
Tuesday 31 January 2012 4.25pm
La Martinet wrote:
Sorry if this sounds stupid (and is slightly off-topic) but I'd just like to clarify: are you saying if someone living in London secures a job that pays less than 8.30 per hour, you can apply to get it topped up to that sum in benefits?

Yes you can. Lots of form filling and proof of income to be provided. Think its Working Tax Credits or something similar.

Just to clarify, I'm not one of these people. Just know a few people who are. They to find it hard to accept Government handouts but find it hard not to work and sign on. So they have to take a low paid job just to be out of the house doing something rather than sitting looking at 4 walls.
Tuesday 31 January 2012 11.11pm
Dee Dee wrote:
some employer do use it as a top up which is wrong but other employers genuinely cannot aford to pay more than the minimum wage and may not be able to take on staff if thay had to pay more

Suppose you were a decent employer, wanting to pay a living wage, but in competition with another business with a less scrupulous boss.

Now, your competitor could take on cheaper staff, in the knowledge that their incomes will be made up by the taxpayer and, hence charge less than you for your product. They will out compete you, forcing you out of business.

Therefore, the existence of in work benefits (eg Working Tax Credit or LHA) forces employers to underpay their staff and take subsidies from the tax payer. The employers aren't necessarily evil, but they have no choice.
Wednesday 1 February 2012 10.46am
But who defines "living wage"? surely that is what the national minimum wage does? anyway a "living wage" is surely totally dependant on someones individual circumstances?
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