WBG Submission to the Low Pay Commission May 2023
Date Posted: Thursday 18th May 2023
The Women’s Budget Group submitted a response to the low-pay commission consultation.
Ending low hourly pay plays an important part in tackling in work poverty. However, with inflation at a 41 year high of 10.1%, it is important that any future increase is at least in step with inflation in order to ensure National Living Wage (NLW) workers do not continue to experience a pay cut in real terms.
Yet it is important to recognise that an increased NLW and NMW will not end in work poverty completely, especially for women. This is because women often work fewer hours in order to juggle unpaid caring responsibilities like childcare so even if their hourly wage is adequate, their take-home earnings may not be. And, if in-work poverty is measured by household this does not necessarily tell us enough about women’s resources as finances are not always shared equally within the home.
An increase to the NLW needs to be combined with action to improve the availability of affordable childcare and elder care, and with a social security system that supports those who are combining part time work with unpaid care.