The Advantages and Disadvantages of Minimum Wage

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This essay will give an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of the minimum wage. There are many different opinions about whether a national minimum wage is a good or a bad thing for our economy and people individually and by looking into various different resources and researching thoroughly, a conclusion will be drawn to hopefully provide a fair and unbiased review. In the UK, there are 3 different bands when it comes to minimum wage, if you are between 16 and 17 years old you are entitled to no less than £3.68, workers over 18 years of age but under 21 are entitled to £4.98, and over 21s are entitled to £6.08. This basically means that if you are employed by a company, they have to pay you the specific hourly rate that you are entitled to. Employees benefit from a minimum wage as it gives them an income, a fair rate of pay that will able them to afford to live, buy things and filter money back into the economy. There are different pros and cons concerning different people when it comes to the minimum wage. Firstly though, we will be looking into the benefits regarding the employees themselves who earn the money. From the financial aspect, a minimum wage allows employees to work and earn more money than they would be receiving if they were on social benefits (Job Seekers Allowance). There are a lot of negative opinions concerning Job Seekers Allowance, you are entitled to this is you are unemployed but still looking for work.

“You can claim JSA online if you are:
* actively looking for work or working fewer than 16 hours per week * over 18 but below State Pension age
* living in England, Scotland or Wales” –http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/documents/digitalasset/dg_200090.html Having a job and earning your own money can have a positive effect on a persons life. The social benefits are endless. Earning your own money can help achieve a level of self respect, knowing that you are working hard and deserving the money that your employer pays you can really help boost self-respect and give the person a sense of belonging. Another social benefit to the minimum wage and being employed is the fact that at work, you are constantly interacting with people. A lot of people who are on Job Seekers Allowance, being at home all day don’t get the opportunity to make friends and become social within a group of people. Being employed and working both as an individual and as part of a team can help people develop social skills they might not have known they had. It’s also a great opportunity to make friends and be part of a working community. People who don’t work and are always at home, looking after family or just generally struggling to find part or full time work can develop a lot of stress. Having a job can sometimes give people a place to go where the day to day stresses of home life aren’t top priority. "A national minimum wage would have a significant impact on the incomes of low-paid workers and affect work incentives. But for many families the gains from a national minimum wage would be offset by tax increases and reductions in in-work social security benefits." - A real escape from the poverty trap - A minimum wage might well enrich the state, but it could also fund a better benefits system, writes Yvette Cooper, Independent on Sunday, The (London, England) - Sunday, March 16, 1997, Author: Yvette Cooper

A pro to working can also benefit a person’s child/children. Working part of full time can set a great example to children. Giving them a work ethic for when they are old enough to enter the workplace. It is very easy to get stuck on benefits; the motivation to go out to work isn’t always there. If the government are willing to give out Job Seekers Allowance to people, why would people want to work unless employers are offering more than Job Seekers Allowance is. It is easy to see why people get trapped in poverty, either on low pay or out of work altogether....
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