Alliance Employment and Learning spokesperson Michael Long has said the minimum wage for 16- and
17-year-olds must be brought into line with that for 18-year-olds.
Speaking after the UK Government announced a rise in the figure those aged 18 and above, the Castlereagh Councillor stated: “As there has been no rise for those aged 16 and 17, I am very concerned that there is now the clear potential for employers to exploit young workers.
“We in Alliance have campaigned for a while not just for similar rises in the minimum wage for under-18s, but that it should be brought wholly into line.
“We do not want to get to a situation where employers are wary, given the costs, of giving young people a chance in the workplace. However, the principle of equal pay for equal work is widely accepted, and must apply to age just as it does to gender or anything else.”