The National Living Wage – an increase for some, but still not enough…

From today (1 April 2016) the minimum wage rate for workers aged 25 and over, increases to £7.20 per hour. The government has branded, what is in effect an increase to the National Minimum Wage rate for workers 25 and over, the new ‘National Living Wage’. The current National Minimum Wage rates for those under the age of 25 continue to apply. 

The compulsory minimum rates of pay for workers from 1 April 2016 are as follows:- 

  • £7.20 for workers aged 25 and over (National Living Wage)
  • £6.70 for workers aged 21-24 (National Minimum Wage)
  • £5.30 for workers aged 18-20 (National Minimum Wage)
  • £3.87 for workers aged 16-17, who are above school leaving age but under 18 (National Minimum Wage)
  • £3.30 for apprentices aged under 19 or 19 or over who are in the first year of apprenticeship (National Minimum Wage) 

The National Living Wage will mean an extra 50p an hour for some of Britain's lowest paid workers which, whilst a step in the right direction, is not enough. The new National Living Wage provides no increase for young workers and still falls well short of the recommended ‘Living Wage’, which Unite believes all employers should be paying. The Living Wage is independently recommended by the Living Wage Foundation calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. Unlike the National Living Wage, the Living Wage is currently voluntary and it is up to employers whether they pay it. 

If any members think they are not being paid the National Living or Minimum Wage rate that applies to them, they should contact their Regional Officer for further advice.