The 1st October always signals the changes to the National Minimum Wage rates. We've listed below the rates effective from today:
Age 21 and over: £6.70
Age 18 - 20: £5.30
Under 18's: £3.87
Apprentice rate: £3.30
If you haven't done so already, you should be checking that all your staff on the minimum wage have had the relevant increase, but don't forget to check people's ages as well to ensure that they're being paid at the correct rate. An 18th and 21st birthday triggers a significant increase to the rate of pay and even well-intentioned employers can be caught out by this if they're not on the ball.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has found that many employers are unaware of the penalties for not complying with the NMW.
A survey of 1,000 businesses across the country, carried out for BIS, found that 53% of employer don't realise that non-compliance can be a criminal offence; 64% don't know they had to repay workers they had underpaid; and 65% don't realise they could be publicly named and shamed.
Today's increase sees the largest increases to the apprentice rate since the NMW was introduced with a rise of 57p per hour and means that full-time apprentices will see up to an extra £1,185 in their back pocket over the course of a year.
Today's increases to the NMW come in advance of the introduction of the movement toward a national living wage of £9 per hour for all workers by 2020. In April 2016, all workers over the age of 25 will need to be paid £7.20. Pop the date in your diary and make sure you factor this into your budgets so you're not caught out.
If you need further help and advice on the national minimum wage or the national living wage, contact us.