The Brief

How can we deliver the benefits of raising the wage floor for workers and the economy?

Pay is a critical component of fulfilling work. The idea that entering work should improve income is at the bedrock of our social contract. The introduction of the National Minimum Wage 20 years ago is considered a policy success story, reducing levels of extreme low pay without seeming to influence employment levels. Yet there is more to do. Pay has stagnated for the majority of workers since the recession, and today, the majority of people experiencing poverty live in a working household. Faced with high levels of in-work poverty, there is a growing political consensus in the UK for increasing the wage floor. However, there has been little detailed study of the implications of this, in particular, the relationship between pay and other dimensions of fulfilling work.

The Carnegie UK Trust is partnering with the Learning and Work Institute to explore the impact of increasing the minimum wage on workers, employers and the economy. Building on the evidence and in dialogue with workers and employers, we will set out how policy can seize the opportunities of a higher minimum wage, while examining the implications for other key aspects of ‘good work’, including access, security, progression and training.

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Douglas White

Gail Irvine

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