National minimum wage
The government has accepted the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission and announced the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates which will come into force from April 2021. Recognising the formidable task of recommending minimum wage rates in the middle of a global pandemic, the Low Pay Commission has sought to balance the needs of low paid workers – many of whom are doing critically important work – and the real solvency risks which small businesses are currently exposed to.
The different terms can be confusing. The National Minimum Wage is the minimum hourly pay that almost all workers are entitled to. The National Living Wage is higher and is currently paid to workers who are over 25. From April 2021, the government is extending the NLW to 23 and 24 year olds too. The new rates from April will be:
- NLW (age 23 and over) – £8.91
- Age 21 and 22 – £8.36
- Age 18 to 20 – £6.56
- Age 16 and 17 – £4.62
- Apprentice rate – £4.30