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 ?
The Low Pay Commission (LPC) welcomes the Governments response to the Taylor review of modern working practices
Low pay is "endemic" in the UK, especially among women in their early 20s who juggle work with childcare responsibilities, said the Social Mobility Commission.
THE national living wage helped cut the number of workers on low pay by more than 300,000 last year, rather than being a "jobskilling disaster" as some had warned, a new report reveals.
The Low Pay Commission is recommending the increase which would total [euro]12 in a 40-hour week.
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.
Low pay is defined as earning less than two thirds of a PS11.
Clr Graham Turner, Cabinet member for Resources, said the aim was to work towards implementing all 10 of the recommendations of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Low Pay Charter.
LOW pay on building sites sparked a union protest on Tyneside.
THE number of UK workers on low pay - less than PS7.
While low pay is likely to be better than no pay at all, it's troubling that the number of low-paid workers across Britain reached a record high last year.