Much news has been generated about the introduction of the National Living Wage which replaces the National Minimum Wage. The National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2016 come into effect on 1 April 2016.
The advantage is that many workers will experience a pay increase. The downside however is that the minimum hourly rates still discriminate on the basis of age and as such only those aged 25 and over will benefit from the increase to £7.20 in April. It is also the Government’s intention to introduce a National Living Wage of at least £9.00 per hour by the end of the current Parliament.
Employers are therefore advised to keep up to date with these increases and to ensure that all workers are paid these minimum rates, including apprentices, interns, and any junior members of staff who attend work on a regular basis.
The repercussions of failing to pay the National Living Wage are that persistent offenders can not only be fined, but publicly named and shamed. Whether the new Regulations become the subject of a legal challenge on the basis that they are discriminatory on the basis of age remains to be seen. To date they have not been.
The new National Living Rates of pay applicable from 1 April 2016 are as follows:-
- Workers aged 25 and over £7.20 per hour
- Workers aged 21 to 25 £6.70 per hour
- Workers aged 18 to 21 £5.30 per hour
- Apprentices £3.30 per hour
If you have any concerns about paying the new National Living Wage then please call Steven Eckett on 020 7998 7777 for more information or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.