Pay rise for labourers to avoid breaking minimum wage laws

Grant Prior 1 year ago
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Construction employers are being forced to give labourers a pay rise to avoid breaking national minimum wage rules.

Minimum rates under the Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) have become so low that employers have been forced to act outside of the normal pay negotiations.

The general operative rate currently stands at £10.26 an hour. But that rate will become illegal on 1 April 2023, when the national minimum wage rises to £10.42 an hour. The CIJC is increasing the general operative rate to £10.42 to ensure it remains in line with the national minimum wage.

Unite national officer for construction Jerry Swain said: “The fact that the CIJC has had to increase wages to ensure their rates remain legal is deeply humiliating.

“It is a dark stain on the construction industry that employers now think so little of workers who undertake hard manual labour, often in dirty conditions in all weathers, that they are only prepared to pay them the minimum wage.

“Employers have eroded wages so far that they now consider the value of a highly experienced site labourer to be less than the minimum wage. The employers didn’t increase the rate out of the goodness of their hearts but because they are no longer allowed to pay such low wages.”

The employers’ side of the CIJC is made up of individuals chosen by various construction trade federations including Build UK, which represent major contractors, the Home Builders Federation, Painting and Decorating Association, Scottish Building Federation, National Federation of Roofing Contractors, National Access & Scaffolding Confederation and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA).

Swain added: “The emergency increase in the general operative rate, corrupts the entire agreement, as employers have failed to increase the other rates, reducing the differentials and devaluing skill rates.”

The next anniversary date for the annual pay increase under the CIJC is at the end of June.

 

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