National Minimum Wage

National Minimum Wage – New enforcement, new rate and a new national living wage.

In April 2016, we will have the introduction of the new National Living Wage (NLW) as announced by the Chancellor in the Budget earlier in the summer. The mandatory rate will be £7.20 per hour for all workers aged over 25.

In addition, the national minimum wage rates will change from the 1st October this year. Rates will increase to £6.70 for workers aged 21 and over, £5.30 for those aged 18-20, £3.87 for 16 and 17 year olds and for an apprentice aged under 19 the minimum pay will be £3.30. In addition, the accommodation offset amount has be increased to £5.35 per day.

Employers will need to be aware not to fall foul of discrimination legislation by favouring younger workers in a bid to avoid the NLW rate: Age is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 and the refusal by an employer or recruiter to employ someone could give rise to unlawful discrimination and case law has illustrated that an employer’s desire to reduce cost will not on its own be enough to justify any discrimination.