Minimum wage legislation can often have unintended consequences.
For example, with the minimum wage being lower the younger you are, employers can sometimes take this as encouragement to discriminate against older applicants in favour of taking on younger candidates. On the other side of the spectrum, it could be argued that younger employees will require more training in order to reach the same level of effectiveness as an older one, so this pay gap compensates for the extra training and development time.
Regardless of your opinion, you should be made aware of “The National Living Wage (Extension to Young People) Bill”. Proposed in July 2018, it intends to extend the National Living Wage (NLW) of £7.83 per hour to 18-24 year olds. This could have serious repercussions for employers if they fail to pay the NLW, such as back-paying current and ex-workers for up to 6 years, a penalty of 200% of underpayments and possible criminal prosecution.
If you want to make your opinion known, you should reach out to your local representative.
Sources: Accountancy Magazine, August 2018 issue