It's the 1st April tomorrow and for the very first time we see National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates change at the same time and for the first time in April rather than October.
The National Living Wage change to £7.50 per hour sees us getting closer to the governments target of £9.00 per hour by 2020 and for the first time we see the rate for 21-24 year olds creep above £7.00 per hour with a rate change to £7.05 per hour.
We've listed the rates here below for you and all are effective from 1st April 2017.
£7.50 per hour - 25 yrs old and over
£7.05 per hour - 21-24 yrs old
£5.60 per hour - 18-20 yrs old
£4.05 per hour - 16-17 yrs old
£3.50 for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over who are in the first year of apprenticeship
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.
Remember there are no excuses for not paying the minimum wage. If you aren't sure if it applies to you, get in touch.