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How many of us are underpaid?

DCS Multiserve

In HR News last month, they reported that salaries had seen an increase in December last year, despite December usually being a quiet month for pay rises and recruitment. Article from DCS Multiserve.

With this in mind, DCS Multiserve, cleaning company, Newcastle, have looked into what UK salaries look like overall. They have compiled some of the following insights: The regions with the highest – and lowest – salaries; The job titles with the highest – and lowest – salaries; Industries, job roles and genders that pay below the National Minimum Wage.

National Minimum Wage versus National Living Wage
What is the difference between the two? The National Living Wage was only introduced in April 2016 by the government and it is only available to employees aged 25 and over. Whereas the National Minimum Wage is the amount of money an employee, who is generally under the age of 25, is entitled to be paid per hour of work.

Current National Minimum Wage (NMW) per hour: Apprentice: £3.40; Under 18s: £4 18-20: £5.55; 21-24: £6.95. National Living Wage (NLW) per hour: 25 and over: £7.20. People with part-time jobs are more likely not to be paid the NMW or NLW. In October 2016, the Office for National Statistics reported that 362,000 jobs were paying their employees less than the NMW or NLW. This equates to 1.3 percent of all UK jobs. Once divided further, that equated to 2.4 percent of part-time jobs and 0.9 percent of full-time jobs.

People aged 18-20 are most likely to be paid less than the NMW or NLW
Of those 362,000 underpaid jobs: 2.1 percent of jobs are underpaying 18-20 year olds; 1.4 percent of jobs pay less to 21-24 year olds; 1.3 percent of jobs for people 25 and over pay under. Women are more likely to be paid less than the NMW or the NLW; 1.7 percent of female employees are paid less than the minimum wage, in comparison to just 1 percent of male employees. This equates to 230,000 jobs contrasted with just 132,000; 1.1 percent of females who work full-time jobs are underpaid, whereas only 0.7 percent of men working full-time are underpaid. This means that 90,000 females working full-time are paid less than minimum wage, contrasted to only 88,000 males.

2.4 percent of part-time jobs worked by females pay under the minimum wage; contrasted with 2.3 percent of part-time jobs worked by males. That’s 140,000 jobs contrasted with 44,000. Workers in the West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber are most likely to be paid less than the NMW or the NLW; 1.7 percent of the jobs in these regions are paid below the minimum wage – equating to 40,000 and 38,000 jobs respectively. London (0.9 percent) and Scotland (1 percent) top the least-likely regions to pay less than the minimum wage, equating to 35,000 and 25,000 jobs respectively. Hairdressing and childcare are most likely to pay below the NMW or NLW; 7 percent of hairdressers are likely to be getting paid below NMW, which is around 8,000 jobs. Approximately 9,000 childcare jobs pay below the NMW, which equates to around 4 percent of jobs.

In a recent article, The Independent revealed the highest paid jobs of 2016. So which professions are making the big money? The top five best paid jobs comprised of: Taking first place are the chief executives and senior officials, who can expect to earn about £85.3K per year; Pilots and flight engineers are second, earning £85K per year. Air traffic controllers are likely to take home a healthy £80K per year. Transport Associate professionals are paid around £75.5K per year. Marketing and sales professionals take fifth position, earning a desirable £70K per year. And the top five worst paid jobs? Business Insider UK reported: Waiting staff take first place, earning £266.40 per week, without tips – £13,852.80 per year. Theme park attendants are likely to take home £273.30 per week – £14,211.60 per year. Bar staff, without tips, can earn about £274.00 per week – £14,248 per year. Hairdressers and barbers are likely to be paid £274.10 per week – £14,253.20 per year. Dry cleaners can be seen to earn £275.40 per week – £14,320.80 per year.

Salaries and regions
The average salary of UK regions is detailed below, ordered from highest to lowest:*

Weekly: £544.02
Annual: £28,289.30

Greater South East
Weekly: £531.89
Annual: £27,658.25

South West
Weekly: £500.38
Annual: £26,019.93

East Midlands
Weekly: £478.86
Annual: £24,900.72

West Midlands
Weekly: £474.125
Annual: £24,654.5

North East
Weekly: £461.90
Annual: £24,013.60

North West
Weekly: £458.18
Annual: £23,825.24

Weekly: £454.13
Annual: £23,614.93

Weekly: £453.37
Annual: £23,575.07

Northern Ireland
Weekly: £448.10
Annual: £23,301.20

The region with the highest average salary in the UK is Scotland, who seem to be earning on average around £28,289.30 per annum. The region with the lowest average salary in the UK is Northern Ireland, earning £23,301.20. There is a difference of £4,988.10 between the average salary of the highest paid region and the lowest paid. Based on the above data, the average UK salary is £24,985.27 – the closest region to this is the East Midlands at an annual salary of £24,900.72.
*Other data from


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