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Reminder on changes to the national minimum wage

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Employers are being reminded that new hourly rates for the minimum wage have come into effect.

As from 1 October, the rate for employees aged 22 and over rises from £5.73 to £5.80 an hour; the rate for 18 to 21-year-olds increases from £4.77 to £4.83 an hour; and for 16 and 17-year-olds, the rate goes up to £3.57 from £3.53 an hour.

There is also a change to the rules governing tips and service charges and the minimum wage.

As from 1 October, it is against the law for tips to be used to bring an employee’s earnings up to the minimum wage.

The old rules meant that tips and gratuities that were given directly to workers by customers and were retained by the workers without any other party being involved could not count towards the minimum wage.

But where service charges, tips, gratuities and cover charges were paid by the employer to the worker via the payroll, then the tip could count towards national minimum wage pay.

The new regulations, however, have outlawed this. Now no tips, service charges, gratuities or cover charges can be used to pay the national minimum wage.