low pay

low pay

wages or salaries that are considered to be low relative to the average level of PAY or relative to needs. Official definitions tend to adopt the latter approach. Low pay is viewed as income that is insufficient to meet officially defined needs and hence can be supplemented by various state benefits (for example social security). Many argue, however, that poverty or impoverished lifestyle extends beyond the group able to claim such benefits, and therefore they prefer a relative definition. In the past the lowest decile of male earnings has been used as a yardstick, but increasingly in the UK the Council of Europe's ‘decency threshold’ of two-thirds of median-pay has been adopted as a definition by those concerned to combat low pay.

Low pay, however defined, tends to be concentrated amongst certain social groups and industries. It is concentrated amongst the female workforce, and is especially prevalent in certain service industries, such as hotel and catering and hairdressing, and in such primary industries as agriculture. Some recent reports have indicated that nearly half the UK's employed adult workforce is receiving pay that falls below the decency threshold.

Low pay has been combated to some extent by the introduction of an official MINIMUM WAGE RATE in 2000. See DISCRIMINATION.

References in periodicals archive ?
Campaigners warned that people on low pay often have "nothing left" after they've paid for things like rent and bills - and said many will be going hungry and relying on high-cost credit.
And low pay could be eliminated altogether by the middle of the 2020s, a new report predicts.
THE proportion of low-paid workers in Britain has fallen to its lowest level since 1980, and low pay could be eliminated altogether by the middle of the 2020s, a new report predicts.
On the 20th anniversary of the National Minimum Wage, a new report by the Low Pay Commission examines how the policy has transformed the UK labour market.
OKLAHOMA CITY Low pay is one of the top reasons that job seekers will turn down job offers and why employees will leave a job, according to a new survey of businesses from Oklahoma City-based Express Employment Professionals.
It is the first time in 15 years that the total number of low-paid workers has fallen below five million, The Resolution Foundation's annual Low Pay Britain report found.
THE share of workers on low pay has fallen to its lowest level since 1982, but they now face a "triple threat", including being stuck in the same low-paid job, a new study shows.
With the National Living Wage for over-25s increasing from PS7.50 to PS7.83 on April 1, the Low Pay Commission - an independent body that advises the government about the National Minimum Wage - has published their estimation for the number of people on minimum wage.
It calls on Theresa May's Government to extend minimum wage protection to some of the UK's 4.8million self-employed to tackle low pay and insecurity.
Adam Corlett, economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: "The new national living wage will have a huge impact on low pay, particularly towards the end of the parliament as it approaches PS9 an hour.
This paper examines low pay both in the context of the distribution of earnings within the income distribution and the distribution of hourly earnings across all employees.
MORE than half Britain's 4.5 million self-employed are now on low pay.