In some parts of the East Midlands a third of jobs are paying less than the living wage, the TUC revealed today (Friday 20th February).
Bolsover in Derbyshire tops the list of the region’s living wage blackspots, with 33.7 per cent of the jobs based there paying less than the living wage- the amount an individual must earn to cover the basic costs of living.
Bolsover is closely followed by Mansfield in Notts (33.4 per cent) and High Peak in Derbyshire (32.8 per cent).
For working women, the picture is even bleaker. In High Peak almost half (45.3 per cent) of jobs pay less than the living wage for women, followed by Mid Derbyshire (44.6 per cent) Bolsover (42.5 per cent) and Broxtowe (42.5 per cent).
Alan Meale, MP for Mansfield, branded the findings as ‘scandalous.’
He said: “I find the figures absolutely appalling. The area has a history of people who believe in low-paid employment and is becoming notorious for zero hour contracts.”
“The people who rake in profits for these companies are the workforce, and yet staff aren’t even being paid enough to live for their efforts, with the young and elderly in particular being targeted and taken advantage of. It’s a scandal.”
“A law needs to be established that prevents companies from paying less than the living wage. Age and gender should not apply when it comes to pay.”
Midlands TUC Regional Secretary Lee Barron said: “Extending the living wage is a vital step towards tackling the growing problem of in-work poverty in parts of the East Midlands – and Britain as a whole.”
“Working families have experienced the biggest squeeze on their living standards since Victorian times, and these living wage figures show that women are disproportionately affected. Pay has been squeezed at all levels below the boardroom, and the government’s mantra about ‘making work pay’ is completely out of touch with reality.”
“The number of living wage employers is growing rapidly and unions are playing their part in encouraging more employers to sign up and pay it. But we need to see a far wider commitment to pay the living wage from government, employers and modern wages councils – to drive up productivity and set higher minimum rates in industries where employers can afford to pay their staff more.”
The official figures, from the House of Commons Library, show that nationally one in five jobs pays under the living wage- with more than five million struggling to cover living costs.