Trade Boards Act 1909

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The Trade Boards Act 1909 was a piece of social legislation passed in the United Kingdom in 1909. It provided for the creation of boards which could set minimum wage criteria that were legally enforceable.[1] It was expanded and updated in the Trade Boards Act 1918.


Winston Churchill MP, put the argument for the legislation as follows. [2]

It is a serious national evil that any class of His Majesty’s subjects should receive less than a living wage in return for their utmost exertions… where you have what we call sweated trades, you have no organisation, no parity of bargaining, the good employer is undercut by the bad and the bad by the worst; the worker, whose whole livelihood depends upon the industry, is undersold by the worker who only takes up the trade as a second string… where these conditions prevail you have not a condition of progress, but a condition of progressive degeneration.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wrigley, Chris, Winston Churchill: A Biographical Companion, p327, ISBN 0-87436-990-8
  2. ^ "Hansard Series 5, Vol 4, col 388". 28 April 1909.