Saturday, 18 June 2011

Equal value?

When I actually woke up this morning I did have a completely different idea as to what this post was going to be about than the one I had been thinking about while at work for the last few days.
I suppose if there has been a recurring theme to my entries this your it's been for the most part one of hard topic entries, sometimes a bit controversial as life in Great Britain in 2011 is shaping up to be inspiration for going on the offensive with words.
Yesterday Tory MP, Philip Davies said something that shocked a good many people including many in his political party when he called for the Disabled particularly the Learning Disabled to be allowed to work for less than the national minimum wage if they wished to further the opportunities for them to gain a foothold in the world of employment. He went on to say "Those most disadvantaged by the national minimum wage are the most vulnerable in society".
Immediately there was an uproar namely around the idea that people who do equal work should be allowed to work for less because they need a job as the notion of worth being expressed in wages is a longstanding one familiar to any seeing the battles for equal pay for both men and women since the 1970's.
What I find so hard to really understand around this proposition is if we accept the notion of the disabled especially the Learning Disabled as being more vulnerable for developmental reasons to exploitation and abuse even, then allowing them to be offered to work for less does put them at risk. How likely is it someone with such as disability would question it and seek out support to be paid the same as others doing this work? It is quite possible they may be worse of financially for taking up a job offer with such low pay than if they had been on welfare.
Don't get me wrong preparation for work schemes like cafes where they may work as trainees are fine because they are learning but once a person has a skill then surely we all should be paid the least amount our society feels is appropriate for our labour.

1 comment:

Jess said...

I agree with you; Mr Davies' has some strange, and unpalatable, views.