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to wonder how employees get away with paying their staff under £15k?

(151 Posts)
KenAdams Fri 30-Nov-12 00:12:32

I've just been looking at jobs and I'm shocked at how many pay under £15k!

Surely that's not enough to buy a house in most areas of the country or afford rent on an average family house as well as food, bills, nursery fees etc?

I live in a relatively cheap area and full time nursery fees alone are around £800. How can people be expected to afford that on low wages? It's no wonder that some people really are better off on benefits, which is really sad.

I don't know how low your income has to be to get help from the government but surely there needs to be a big rise in minimum wage in order to meet living costs now?

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 30-Nov-12 00:16:09

My previous job was like that. They can get away with extremely low salaries because even say,13.5k is above minimum wage. Is quite a way off the calculated "living wage" though,not fun to live on at all. I don't know what I would have done if I'd got pregnant whilst working there.

RedToothbrush Fri 30-Nov-12 00:17:44

Employees don't tend to employ anyone...

But I've been under the 14k mark for years, mainly cos the market in the industry has been oversaturated by people wanting to get into it.

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Fri 30-Nov-12 00:17:45

Because you get tax credits if you are on that low a wage. However, it is disgraceful that companies pay so little.

HappyJoyful Fri 30-Nov-12 00:20:26

YANBU but there are a huge amount of jobs out there that pay that sort of wage - infact, I think that could be above minimum wage, I know where I work in a charitable organisation we have a member of staff earning less, as does my husband for horticultural work. It's soul destroying but true.

AThingInYourLife Fri 30-Nov-12 00:20:38


DrCoconut Fri 30-Nov-12 00:27:29

My DH earned under £12k for full time work last tax year. It was only just under but still, his employer takes the pee big time but not for much longer because he's leaving. When DS2 was born DH was better off on paternity leave because SPP was more than his pay less travel costs!

KenAdams Fri 30-Nov-12 00:31:15

Sorry, employers!

BertieBotts Fri 30-Nov-12 00:35:08

Minimum wage for 37 hours per week for 50 weeks of the year is £11,452 before tax. So yes, it's over minimum wage. In fact, if you're under 21 minimum wage for 37 hours a week 50 weeks of the year is £9,582 - less than £10,000 shock

I guess ideologically it's supposed to work that you start off on minimum wage while still living at home or house sharing and then move up to a wage which is high enough to buy property and/or support a family, but unfortunately not everyone ever gets off that first "rung", nor do all industries work like a ladder... if you want to talk in metaphors grin it's more like a giant snakes and ladders board where you're stuck on one level for ages unless you're lucky enough to find a ladder and god help you if you hit a snake and have to go right back to the beginning again!

youngermother1 Fri 30-Nov-12 00:45:20

Trouble is, most companies pay what it takes to get employees/what they can afford. If the supermarkets, for example, paid more, then groceries would cost everyone more and everyone would complain about the cost of food.
Most companies operate in a global environment and people around the world work for less. The reason we have few clothes manufacturers in this country is that they are too expensive compared to overseas.
Some companies (M&S) tried to remain with UK suppliers, but people stopped shopping there as too expensive, so they were forced to source overseas to stay in business (about 10 years ago IIRC).
No easy answer I am aware of.

TheDarkestNight Fri 30-Nov-12 00:53:15

The under 21 wage thing irks me a bit, I know it's supposed to be an incentive to hire younger people, but it really ends up being too little to live on. Not everyone can live with their parents until they're 21. I agree that the MW should reflect the price of living, otherwise people are forced to choose between poverty and 'benefit scrounging'.

youngermother1 Fri 30-Nov-12 01:25:24

Playing devils advocate. I have a business that makes a profit paying minimum wage but a loss paying 'living' wage.
Should I close the business, affect my suppliers and reduce the countries exports and sack my employees or pay the minimum wage?

Darkesteyes Fri 30-Nov-12 02:01:16

youngermother1Fri 30-Nov-12 00:45:20

Trouble is, most companies pay what it takes to get employees/what they can afford. If the supermarkets, for example, paid more, then groceries would cost everyone more and everyone would complain about the cost of food.

It cant have escaped your notice that there are food banks springing up all over the country.

StuntGirl Fri 30-Nov-12 02:05:02

£15k is quite a bit over minimum wage. That's a good salary to a lot of people. There are many working even full time who don't make that much.

MammaTJ Fri 30-Nov-12 06:53:38

I earn way under that. I 'only' work 33 hours a week though.

My DP gave up a better paid job because transport costs to where he was working were high, so he took a lesser paid job and got more tax credits for a while (till he got a promotion).

singingmum Fri 30-Nov-12 07:04:59

15000 would be a dream for us. My dp works 38hrs a week as a supervisor in a local supermarket. He earns after tax less than 10000 and he's on about 10p over the minimum wage. Its a nightmare as he took the promotion hoping we'd be better able to cope with less benefits ie rent benefit etc. We have ended up worse off as we have no rent benefit at the moment and our son turned 18 and didn't get on the course at college as over subscribed. We are approximately(until council decide if we can have about £80 rent b off of our 420 rent) £600 down as we now pay full rent and we are supporting our son while he looks for work so same outgoings.
Minimum wage is just crap but even when you move up the ladder you get screwed
We are wondering if it was worth him moving up at the moment

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 30-Nov-12 07:43:27

Owning a house and choosing to have children are lifestyle choices not essentials. People have to budget according to their incomings.

TwoFacedCows Fri 30-Nov-12 07:56:51

wow, I take my hat off to people who manage and work for 15k full time. Our part time wage for 4hrs a day is 12k!!

TwoFacedCows Fri 30-Nov-12 07:57:17

that includes 35 days holiday!

LucieMay Fri 30-Nov-12 07:58:14

It also depends where you live in the country. Nurseries round here cost nowhere near £800 a month. I know loads of people round here, in Lancashire, on less than 15k. Don't forget you get working tax credits and child tax credits on low incomes.

GhostShip Fri 30-Nov-12 07:59:22

People always assume people on that wage get tax credits. Well I don't and I'm not eligible for them either!
I'm on 13.5k and I make it work, because I have to. It's easy for you to ask how if you've never had to do it, but it is doable. It's not brilliant, but life's not too bad.

Vickibee Fri 30-Nov-12 08:00:26

Even if you rent you are paying out half your wages in rent, and has to be topped up with HB etc. I guess I am lucky as I work 25 hours pw and earn 15K and live in a cheap part of the country. it is school hours so only need child care in hols. It does cost about £100 pm in petrol to travel to work though which is a sizeable chunk.

BertieBotts Fri 30-Nov-12 08:07:03

So only rich people should have children?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 30-Nov-12 08:08:14

YABU to be shocked. It's over minimum wage and whilst it may not be enough to buy a house etc, not everyone has families and big financial commitments. Most of us started off in lower paid work when young/inexperienced/unqualified and moved up the ladder from there.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 30-Nov-12 08:09:36

"So only rich people should have children?"

Responsible people take on commitments they can reasonably afford. 'Rich' doesn't come into it.

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