Minimum wage set to rise next month

The national minimum wage is due to increase on 1 October this year.

The adult rate will increase by 2.5 per cent, or 15p, to £6.08 an hour, while the rate for 18-20 year olds will rise by 6p to £4.98 an hour.

The Low Pay Commission (LPC) has also decided that the rate for 16-17 year olds will reach £3.68 an hour – an increase of 4p – and apprentices will get a 10p increase to £2.60 an hour.

The new rates were met with mixed reactions when they were announced earlier this year.

Business secretary Vince Cable said: “More than 890,000 of Britain’s lowest paid workers will gain from these changes. They are appropriate – reflecting the current economic uncertainty while at the same time protecting the UK’s lowest paid workers and the challenges faced by businesses.”

But director general at the British Retail Consortium raised concerns, saying: “At a time when the priority should be getting more people into work, any increase in staff costs is an extra hurdle. This rise in the National Minimum Wage is at the very top end of what retailers could be expected to live with.”

This week two Low Pay Commissioners are due to visit London as part of their fact-finding on the national minimum wage – they want to gather first-hand information in how the scheme is operating.

Commenting, Low Pay Commissioner Professor Bob Elliott said: “Hearing directly from those affected by the National Minimum wage is an important part of the Commission’s work and informs our recommendations to the Government. Our visits take us around the UK and we welcome the opportunity to hear how the National Minimum Wage has affected people in London.”