THE statutory minimum wage in the UK is too low in comparison with average pay according to the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR), which yesterday published details of state which have violated the European Social Charter.

It lists the UK alongside the likes of Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Romania and Serbia with the minimum wage breaching the right to remuneration that gives workers and their families a decent standard of living.

The charter is a legally-binding counterpart to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and sets out a range of “everyday” economic and social rights in areas such as housing, education, employment and healthcare.

According to the ECSR, while the United Kingdom ratified the charter in 1962 and accepted 60 of its 72 sections, it had not signed an additional protocol or ratified a revised charter. Nor had it conformed to a series of conventions on the rights of migrant workers and their families to protection and assistance. The ESCR noted: “Family members may be expelled following the deportation of their sponsor, without proof that they are a threat to national security, or offend against public interest or morals; the language requirements imposed on the family members of migrant workers are likely to hinder family reunion; the income requirement for migrants who wish their families to join them is too high and is likely to hinder family reunion.”

It said the minimum wage does not ensure a decent standard of living and workers have no adequate legal guarantees to ensure increased pay for overtime. Their right to paid public holidays was not guaranteed and safeguards to prevent people working for more than 12 consecutive days without a rest period were inadequate.

On the right to take strike action, the ESCR said: “The scope for workers to defend their interests through lawful collective action is excessively circumscribed; the requirement to give notice to an employer of a ballot on industrial action, in addition to the strike notice that must be issued before taking action, is excessive.”