Julie lent her support to fellow Labour MP, Siobhain McDonagh’s National Living Wage campaign and attended the debate in Parliament.
The motion, supported by Julie and many other Labour MPs was as follows:
On the campaign, Julie said:
“All workers deserve a decent hourly rate of pay in order to make ends meet. I am proud that it was a Labour Government that introduced the National Minimum Wage, removing the worst excesses of low pay. Since this historic achievement, our party has not stopped fighting for better pay and conditions for the lowest paid in our country.”
“I welcome a pay rise that 18% of employees in Sunderland will receive as part of the implementation of the Government’s National Living Wage. However, I am concerned by reports of companies removing employees’ in-work benefits in response to the enforcement of the National Living Wage, such as changing holiday and overtime pay and cutting Sunday pay and paid breaks. The National Living Wage will be of little comfort to these hard-working people if their employers are attempting to undermine it by making such changes to their working conditions. No worker should be worse off as a result of receiving a pay increase to which they are entitled.”
“I also remain concerned that this legislation means that only workers aged 25 and over will receive a pay rise. In every industry, there should be equal pay for equal work. A constituent recently contacted me to say that he has worked full-time since leaving secondary school and now, aged 22, he is still three years away from being regarded as deserving of the National Living Wage. He is one of many in my constituency and throughout the country in this position. Not all who are under the age of 25 are in full-time education or in receipt of assistance from their parents. Many of them have their own households to maintain, families to support, and bills to pay. These workers deserve a pay rise too.”