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Advertising A Job Below The Minimum Wage

Advertising a job close to or at the minimum wage results in a number of considerations, especially as the minimum wage varies by age.

What Is The Current Minimum Wage?

As a reminder, the current minimum wages are:

Year 23 and over 21 to 22 18 to 20 16 to 17 Apprentice

April 2022

(current hourly rate)

£9.50 £9.18 £6.83 £4.81 £4.81

To put the salaries in context, assuming an 8 hour day, with 260 working days a year, means a total of 2,080 hours.

Year 23 and over 21 to 22 18 to 20 16 to 17 Apprentice
April 2022 (current hourly rate) £19,760 £19,094 £14,206 £10,004 £10,004

This post came to fruition after seeing a job (found on the 4th January 2017) with a headline figure of £7 an hour (lower than the £7.20 minimum in 2017). To be fair to the company, they do make it clear that employees would be paid at or above the minimum wage which is appropriate for their age.

It does raise issues though regarding whether advertising a job with a rate of pay below the maximum minimum is age discriminatory? Would having the lower rate of pay put off people over 25 (the 2017 age bracket) applying?

When advertising your job, you will have a number of options which you can take:

  1. Advertise the rate of pay at the maximum minimum wage, and make it clear in the advert that it is the maximum figure.
  2. A number of job sites allow you to advertise your role with a salary range, which again would allow you to provide the range of salaries.

When recruiting a role at the national living wage or minimum wage, you do need to be very careful that age discrimination doesn’t happen. You must not ask someone’s age at the interview, even if the person’s age will have an impact on your business.

Read How Will The Increased Minimum Wage Affect Your Recruitment Strategy.

On the other hand, the reduced minimum wages are in place to help reduce the number of under 23s who are unemployed, as in reality, it is normally fairly easy for an employer to identify the age of a person based on their school record.

The Advantages Of Minimum Wage Staff

Paying the minimum wage will give your business access to cheaper labour and is often appropriate for someone starting their career, working in an unskilled job, or when staff training is part of the initial recruitment package. Further advantages for your business include lower recruitment costs and motivating employees to work towards an internal promotion. 

Read 17 Ways To Reduce Recruitment Costs.

The Cons Of Employing At Minimum Wage

There are disadvantages of paying minimum wage, including only attracting lower-skilled workers, high staff turnover, poor general employee happiness, and the costs of retraining when onboarding replacements.

Tips For Employing Workers At Minimum Wage

To attract employees for minimum wage roles you should highlight how they will increase their pay. By presenting the opportunity for small pay increases over time, you motivate employees to take on the responsibility of improving their salary and validate better future prospects.

How To Keep Recruitment Costs Low

For help writing a job description we offer a wide range of job description templates and job advert templates. Be sure to keep up to date with the average salaries in the UK, before posting your job advert to ensure you are keeping up with competitor job roles.

For fixed cost recruitment/job advertising and flat fee recruitment on the most effective job boards UK, please contact the Hiring People team.

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