Wednesday 27 March 2024

Setting a high bar

Celebrating 25 years of the minimum wage, and plotting its next path

The introduction of the minimum wage back in April 1999 was a controversial policy choice, with businesses warning that it would lead to widespread job losses. But 25 years on, it has proved to be a great policy success that has been built on by several governments. Raising the legal wage floor has significantly reduced low pay and inequality, without any substantial employment effects. With the minimum wage on track to reach its target of two-thirds of median hourly earnings this year, virtually eliminating hourly low pay in Britain, it’s time to reflect on the successes of this approach and aims for the future.

How has the UK labour market changed since the introduction of the minimum wage? Why has it been able to evolve into a far higher wage floor than originally intended? What’s next for the minimum wage – or should the priority for change now move elsewhere? And what lessons can be learnt from the way the minimum wage was introduced and the role the Low Pay Commission has played over the past quarter-century for designing policy in future?

The Resolution Foundation is hosting an in-person and interactive webinar to mark the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the minimum wage. Following a presentation on the impact of the minimum wage on the labour market, we will hear from leading experts on what’s next for the minimum wage and lessons for other policy areas.

The event will be open for people to physically attend, alongside being broadcast via YouTube and the Resolution Foundation website. Viewers will be able to submit questions to the panel before and during the event via Slido.