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Unite Supports Anti-Youth Rates Bill

Unite Supports Anti-Youth Rates Bill

“Unite welcomes Sue Bradford's work to end youth rates through a private members Bill.” Grace Millar, Unite Secretary, said today. Tomorrow Sue Bradford will put her Minimum Wage (Abolition of Age Discrimination Bill) in the private member's Bill ballot.

“Ruth Dyson, Minister of Labour, recently said that if a 17 year old was doing the same work as a 25 year old, then they'd have a case to make to be paid the same. With this Bill the Greens have recognised that 17 year-olds throughout the country are doing exactly the same work as 25 year-olds, but being paid less.”

“We negotiate with employers who justify paying youth rates simply by saying 'we do it because we can' . This inequitable practice won't end until parliament puts a stop to it. The Greens have shown that they believe that young people have a right to equality, we call on other parties in parliament to do the same.”

“The Greens press release about the Bill only mentions 16 and 17 year olds – we hope that the Bill will extend to those under 16, who currently have no minimum wage protection. Just this weekend I talked one of our members told me that last year she was paid just $5.60 when working at a major supermarket chain. At our recent demonstration against youth rates a young woman who had worked at a cafe when she was 15 spoke about training people who were being paid almost twice as much as she was, and the employer changing the pay rate at will. This sort of exploitation will only end when those under 16 are given the same protection as everyone else.”

"With International Human Rights Day being celebrated at the end of this week on Saturday 10 December it would be a good time for the Government to announce that they are removing legalised wage discrimination based on age from the Human Rights Act and the Bill of Rights," Grace Millar concluded.

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