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family wage

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A wage that is sufficient to support a family, including a dependent spouse and children. The family wage was a traditional bargaining objective of male-dominated trade unions and found expression, before the introduction of equal pay legislation, in separate and higher rates of pay for male employees. The family wage is based on a male breadwinner model, in which it is assumed that men work and provide for a family, whilst women with children work as housewives. It can be contrasted with a component wage that is insufficient to run a household and which contributes to a total family income derived from two or more wage earners. [See component wage job.]

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