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Age Discrimination and National Minimum Wage

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The House of Commons library has produced a debate pack (ie briefing note for MPs) on the interaction between bands of the national minimum wage and age discrimination.

It is intended to inform intelligent discussion in a forthcoming Westminster Hall debate about the introduction of the National Living Wage alongside a new 21-24 year old age band, which has led to renewed interest in the rationale behind minimum wage age-banding, fears that workers over 25 would be discriminated against in favour of younger, cheaper, workers and concerns that workers aged 21-24 are now ineligible for the full minimum wage.

The rationale for minimum wage age banding has typically been that younger workers occupy a more vulnerable position in the labour market, with a greater need to acquire experience, and that if younger workers were eligible for the full minimum wage they might be priced out of the labour market.