National Minimum Wage rise is on the way in October

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The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour almost all workers are entitled to by law.

It doesn’t matter how small an employer is, they still have to pay the minimum wage.

The National Minimum Wage rate per hour depends upon your age and whether you are classified as an apprentice. Furthermore, you must be at least school leaving age for it to apply.

The current rates are as follows :

Age 21 and over – £6.50 per hour

Age 18 to 20 – £5.13 per hour Age under 18 – £3.79 per hour

Apprentice – £2.73 per hour

However there is a rate increase coming on October 1, with the hourly rates increasing to the following:

21 and over – £6.70

18-20 – £5.30

Under 18 – £3.87

Apprentice – £3.30

If you are an employer please be aware of the need to implement these correctly – it is a criminal offence for employers not to pay someone the National Minimum Wage.

Employers who discover they’ve paid a worker below the minimum wage must pay any arrears immediately.

In proposals announced on September 1 by the business secretary penalties for non-payment of both the NMW and NLW could be doubled, as well as setting up a new team within HMRC to deal with such instances.

If you are an employee who is effected by the minimum wage rates you can look forward to a pay rise, however small it may be!

The apprentice rate is for those employees aged 16 to 18 as well as those aged 19 or over who are in the first year of their apprenticeship.
Living Wage

The new National Living Wage is an essential part of the government’s strategy to move from a low wage, high tax and high welfare society to a higher wage, lower tax and lower welfare society.

It ensures that work pays, and reduces reliance on the state topping up wages through the benefits system

From April 2016, the government will introduce a new mandatory National Living Wage (NLW) for workers aged 25 and above, initially set at £7.20 – a rise of 50p relative to the upcoming National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate, forecast to rise to £9 by 2020.

The living wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually.

It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK.

Employers can choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis – with Lidl being the first supermarket to do this.