National Minimum Wage rises today

Government also announces new ‘name and shame’ system for intransigent employers

National Minimum Wage rates have risen across the board today, in accordance with the recommendations set out in April by the independent Low Pay Commission (LPC).

The changes mean that the minimum wage for adults (20 and over) has increased by 12p to £6.31 an hour, whilst the rate for 18-20 year olds is now £5.03 an hour – an increase of 5p.

The rate for 16-18 year olds has also risen by 4p to £3.72 an hour, and the rate for apprentices has seen a modest rise of 3p to £2.68 per hour.

More than 890,000 workers across the UK are set to be affected by the annual changes.

In addition to the increased rates, the government has announced a ‘name and shame’ system for employers who fail to pay their workers the minimum wage.

The move is part of an ongoing drive to ensure compliance and will be an additional penalty on top of the fine employers in breach of the rules already have to pay.

Business secretary Vince Cable welcomed the changes and signalled an intention for the Government to sanction steeper rises in the future. Cable said:  “The National Minimum Wage is a vital safety net in protecting the low paid. Each year, the LPC carries out a huge amount of detailed and valuable work to make sure they recommend a rate that supports people on low pay without damaging their chances of getting a job.

“But as signs of an economic recovery start to emerge, we need to do more to make sure that the benefits of growth are shared fairly across the board. That is why, in addition to their ongoing annual remit, I am asking them to extend their expertise to help the government and business understand how we can deal with the issue of low wages in the economy.

“In particular, I have asked them to look at what economic conditions would be needed to allow the National Minimum Wage to rise in the future by more than current conditions allow.”

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