National Minimum and National Living Wage Increases
Wage rates for all ages including apprentices will be going up on 1st April 2019. More employers than ever before will be directly affected, as the Government has again accepted in full the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations to ensure a pay increase for the lowest paid workers that exceeds both inflation and average earnings.
National Minimum Wage
The National Minimum Wage is the minimum rate of pay per hour someone is entitled to by law and depends on a worker’sage and if they’re an apprentice.
From 1st April 2019, the following National Minimum Wage rates (per hour) will be:
- For workers aged 21 to 24, the rate increases from £7.38 to £7.70
- For workers aged 18 to 20, the rate increases from £5.90 to £6.15
- For workers aged 16 and 17, the rate increased from £4.20 to £4.35
- For apprentices under the age of 19 or those aged 19 and over who are in their first year of an apprenticeship, the rate increased from £3.70 to £3.90
- Accommodation offset increased from £7.00 to £7.55
The National Living Wage
The Government’s National Living Wage affects all workers aged 25 and over. From 1st April 2019, the rate will be increasing by 4.9% from £7.83 to £8.21 per hour.
The UK Living Wage
The UK Living Wage is different from the Government’s National Living Wage. These rates are voluntary (not legally binding) and are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence about living standards in London and the UK.
The current UK Living Wage rates are £9.00 per hour across the UK and £10.55 in London. This applies for workers over the age of 18.
Top mistakes employers make when paying the National Minimum and Living Wage
There are many reasons why an employer might find themselves not paying minimum wages correctly. To help you to avoid making these mistakes, we have drawn together a list of the most common causes of underpayment:
- Failure to apply the increases on 1st April!
- Missed birthdays as workers turn 18,21 and 25 years old
- Paying the apprentice rate to a worker who isn’t actually an apprentice. Recognised apprentices must have an apprenticeship contract and undergo structured training
- Failing to apply the correct rate of pay for apprentices. The apprentice rate only applies to apprentices who are under the age of 19, or if aged 19 or over, within the first year of their apprenticeship
- Tips and gratuities shouldn’t be included when calculating minimum wage pay rates for employees
- Making wage deductions for items or expenses that relate to the job such as uniforms will reduce a worker’s pay for minimum wage purposes
- Deducting administration fees for earnings orders such as child support and council tax will also reduce a worker’spay for minimum wage purposes
- Charging a worker more than the standard offset rate for accommodation.