National Living Wage – Is Brexit The Answer?

Posted on Friday, September 29, 2017 by Venn GroupNo comments

The living wage is now set at £9.75 an hour in London and £8.45 an hour in the rest of the UK. By comparison, the national minimum wage is significantly lower. The national minimum wage is £7.50ph for 25’s and over and £5.60 for those between 18 and 20.


I am currently in the process of buying my first house having lived in rented accommodation for the past 8 years.  There is a lot of information out there discussing how difficult it is for first time buyers to buy a property.  Is it any wonder when you look at the statement above?  Who has decided you can “live” on £7.85ph?  You can’t even buy a packet of cigarettes for that nowadays…a pint on Greek Street in Leeds City Centre would take you about 55 minutes to work for.


I used to recruit for Legal staff at Venn Group and often spoke to candidates from Australia who were studying LPC Degree’s in the UK and who were paid up to £20ph to work in a bar back home.  In the UK you would be hard-pressed to find a barman on the national Living Wage.


It has made me think whether this is due to the migration policy in Australia and if so, is Brexit likely to change to National Living and Minimum Wage for the better?  If there is less migration and less people to work this will inevitably bump up salaries as employers will have to pay more to recruit staff.


Before you say it, I appreciate that there is also the potential that Brexit leads to a mini-recession and things go the other way.


Working in recruitment, I speak to lots of talented and switched-on candidates who are paid the minimum wage, or close to, by their employers.  I don’t see how the “living wage” covers the basics you need in today’s society, never mind something as expensive as buying a house.


It is pretty clear to most people that wages need to increase the same rate as rents, petrol prices, heating bills and alcohol.


Maybe Brexit has the possibility of doing this.


David Febrero, Venn Group     

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