Help wanted- Newcastle University Business School Research Project: The Forgotten Workers

Dr Jo McBride is a Senior Lecturer in Industrial Relations, Work and Employment at Newcastle University Business school. She has secured funding for research into what her team refer to as “The Forgotten Workers”

Jo’s project is as follows

The team are currently conducting research into the lives of low-paid workers in Yorkshire and the North-East of England.  This research is set in the context of growing levels of low-pay and inequality at the regional and national levels.

Whilst there is much focus on low-pay, poverty and social inclusion, there is little research on in-work poverty.  Indeed, it is estimated that 1 in 5 workers in the UK are paid less than the living wage.  We are keen to speak to those in low-paid multiple forms of employment in Yorkshire and the North-East, who are paid below the living wage (currently £7.85 per hour).  Our aim is to uncover the experiences and realities of working lives, and the challenges of attempting to achieve work-life balance.

We are particularly keen to involve organisations and community groups in this timely and relevant research project. Our research findings and recommendations will be widely disseminated to academic and practitioner groups that are involved in attempting to alleviate low-pay and poverty.  Through this research we will develop detailed understandings of the experiences of vulnerable low-paid workers, and use this evidence to promote social inclusion and sustainable employment policies and practices.

If you have, or know somebody who has, multiple low paid jobs and would like to speak to Jo and her team please contact us at the e mail or phone number of the Community Support Centre which can be found at “Contact Us” on the home page and we will pass your details on to Jo. Jo has assured us that all testimonies will be reported anonymously and has guaranteed confidentiality for those who take part. There is also a £20 food voucher for anybody who takes part.

Many thanks

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2 responses to “Help wanted- Newcastle University Business School Research Project: The Forgotten Workers

  1. The low waged face nil state pension for life from the flat rate pension.
    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

    The Lower Earnings Level means such workers do not get automatic National Insurance credits, even if on in-work benefits.

    So out of the welfare state and out of the state pension scheme.

    The flat rate pension pays nil state pension for 10 years or less NI record, whereas current state pension scheme pays some state pension from
    1 year’s NI history.

    Also the Salary Sacrifice Scheme (the return of the outlawed Truck System from the 19th Century) drags low wages down below the LEL.

    Women tend to be more than men under the low waged below the LEL.

    So these women will not get the housewife’s state pension from their husband’s NI contribution history, nor will inherit in the future his state pension, at the 60 per cent rate.

    Divorcees will also not get a state pension from their ex husband’s NI history.

    For the low waged, the state pension is the sole pension provision in life.

    Also the low waged face their state pension being wiped out by the merger of SERPs opt out history (opt out end after 2012 but is formally abolished in 2016) and NI history, which wipes out NI record.

    You need 35 years NI history AND 35 years not contracted out of SERPs to get the full flat rate pension.

    SERPs opt out began 6 April 1978, the exact same date that SERPs began.

    Or did it?

    Because State Earnings Related Pension Scheme is what the National Insurance Fund is.

    SERPs was not extra money, but just keep on paying the full standard
    12 per cent of your annual wage into National Insurance Fund.

    SERPs opt out was paying only 10.4 per cent of your wage, and your boss getting a 3.4 per cent rebate off employer NI contribution for your job.

    So we were paying still about 10 per cent of our annual wage, only now for the SERPs opt out to wipe out that NI history, and certainly if you only have 10 years or less NI history.

    This is the fate of the low waged.

    Work til you die or starve if you can’t.
    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

  2. Pingback: Can you help? Research project on forgotten workers | Leeds Community Support Centres

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