Living Wage Week: young paid £65 a week less than they need to live on

Monday 5 November 2018

Commenting on today’s increase in the Living Wage to £9 an hour (£10.55 in London), Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton OBE said: YWT logo

“Increasingly we are finding that young women in work are in poverty, getting into debt and using food banks. 

“It’s no surprise when an hour’s childcare can cost more than an hour’s wages. 

“Currently, under-25s are not even eligible for the Government’s national living wage, which is less than the real living wage figures released today. This means they can get £1.62 an hour, or £65 a week, less than what today’s calculations show they need to live on. 

“Much more needs to be done to improve young people’s prospects – and that starts with employers paying a living wage. This would benefit businesses and the economy too.” 


Notes to editor: 

  1. Young Women’s Trust supports and represents women aged 16-30 trapped by low or no pay and facing a life of poverty. The charity provides coaching services and runs campaigns to make sure that the talents of young women don't go to waste.
  2. The new living wage was announced today (Monday 5 November 2018) by the Living Wage Foundation.
  3. Young Women’s Trust is concerned that the Government has not extended the National Living Wage – which is lower than the real living wage – to under-25s, meaning they can be paid less for the same work. The charity released a report on the issue recently, which can be found here:
  4. Young Women’s Trust commissioned Populus Data Solutions to conduct a survey of young people. A representative sample of 4,010 18-30 year olds and 1,115 54-72 year olds in England and Wales, with panel services provided by Populus Live, were surveyed between 29 June-16 July 2018. The survey found that:
    1. Four in ten young women (40 per cent) say it is a “real struggle” to make their cash last to the end of the month, compared to 29 per cent of young men. This rises to 58 per cent of women aged 25 to 30.
    2. 28 per cent of young women and 21 per cent of young men say that their financial situation has got worse in the last 12 months.
    3. 39 per cent of young women have been offered zero-hours contract, compared to 32 per cent of young men. In 2017 the figure was 33 per cent of young women.
    4. 27 per cent of young women say their level of debt has got worse in the past year and one in four (23 per cent) say they are in debt “all of the time”.
    5. Just five per cent of young women are currently debt free and 37 per cent don’t think they will be debt-free by the age of 40.

For more information or to speak to a young woman who is affected, please contact Bex Bailey on 07963018281 or