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  • New analysis shows around 173,000 childcare workers across the UK would benefit from raising the minimum wage to £10 an hour
  • Women, young people, and workers in the south east and south west of England would gain the most
  • TUC calls for urgent cash boost to the childcare sector, and an immediate increase in the minimum wage to at least £10 an hour

Increasing the national minimum wage to £10 an hour would give around 173,000 childcare workers a pay rise, according to new analysis published by the TUC today (Wednesday).

The research shows that women and younger childcare workers across the UK would gain the most from an increase in the minimum wage.

Around 160,000 (93 per cent) of those who would benefit are women. And almost half (46 per cent) are aged between 18 and 24 years old.

The TUC analysis also shows that childcare workers in the south of the country stand to benefit the most from increasing the minimum wage to £10 an hour.

One in four (23 per cent) of the workers who would gain are based in the south east, and around one in six (16 per cent) are in the south west.

Cash boost for childcare

Childcare is a vital part of our economic recovery as we emerge from the pandemic, argues the TUC.

The union body is calling for an urgent cash boost for the sector – like the financial help given to transport networks – to give childcare workers better wages, and a long-term settlement to make sure childcare is affordable and available for families.

Investing in good quality, affordable childcare would also support working parents and help the sector recover from the pandemic, says the TUC.

Long-term economic plan

The TUC also says that ministers must come up with a long-term plan to get wages rising across the economy more generally.

The union body is calling on ministers to raise the minimum wage to at least £10 an hour immediately. And the TUC is also asking the government to work with unions and employers on sector-wide fair pay agreements to improve living standards.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Every worker should be paid a living wage – not least when they are looking after our precious children and grandchildren.

“Poverty pay in childcare is a disgrace – especially when parents are struggling to pay huge costs.

“Good quality, affordable childcare is vital for our economic recovery after the pandemic. Ministers need to fund childcare properly to lift wages and support working parents.

“And ministers need to get pay packets rising across the economy more widely – or too many families will have to choose between turning their heating on or putting food on the table this spring.

“It’s time to raise the minimum wage to £10 an hour now, and make employers sit around the table with unions in each sector to negotiate fair pay deals.”

Editors note

- The analysis was done for the TUC by Dr Howard Reed, Director of Landman Economics and is available from the press office.
- The TUC estimates that introducing a £10 an hour minimum wage for all childcare workers would cost the Treasury £92 million. Previous TUC research has shown that reforming Capital Gains Tax could raise up to £17bn a year:,least%20%C2%A310%20an%20hour.


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