Minimum wage rates set to rise

Tighter enforcement flagged for employers who ignore rules on interns and work experience.

The national minimum wage (NMW) will increase 2.5 per cent from 1 October.

This will take the adult rate from £5.93 to £6.08 an hour, the youth development rate from £4.92 to £4.98 an hour while the 16-17 year-old rate will increase from £3.64 to £3.68 an hour. The apprentice rate will also increase from £2.50 to £2.60 an hour.

Low Pay Commission chairman David Norgrove said: "We received evidence this year that indicated a number of employers were ignoring minimum wage rules with regard to internships and other forms of work experience. We believe raising awareness of the rules and more effective enforcement are the best ways to tackle this misuse."

Business secretary Vince Cable said: "More than 890,000 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."

Meanwhile, the next agricultural wages board full board meeting is set for 6 May with annual negotiations to set minimum horticulture and agriculture worker wages on 13-14 June. However, the Government's intent to abolish the board this autumn will make these negotiations redundant. The industry will revert to using the NMW.

EMPLOYER VIEW - Derek Jarman, Haylock Plants owner

"To my mind a 2.5 per cent increase will further reduce fulltime positions and increase the number of part-time and temporary jobs. This is brilliant for job prospects of EU citizens in the UK, not very good for UK residents. Comparisons with minimum rates in other countries show most are static and a few declining.

If you add in increases to national insurance it's not very good for employers."

KEY STAT

New hourly rate under the national minimum wage from October - £6.08


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