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Raising the national minimum wage

The Conservatives are reportedly considering how to raise the national minimum wage from its existing rate of £6.19 per hour (£6.31 from next month). It was suggested on BBC’s Newsnight that tax breaks may be offered to businesses paying above the current level while companies above a certain size or profit level may be required to pay their workers more than the legal minimum. Supporters within the party are wanting David Cameron to make an announcement on raising minimum wage levels either in his speech to the Tory Party conference at the end of the month, or later this year.

Regardless of what wider changes may be made to the minimum wage regime in due course, the following rates will come into effect on 1 October 2013:

  • The standard adult rate (for workers aged 21 and over) will increase to £6.31 an hour (from £6.19)
  • The development rate (for workers aged between 18 and 20) will rise to £5.03 an hour (from £4.98)
  • The young workers rate (for workers aged under 18 but above the compulsory school age who are not apprentices) will rise to £3.72 an hour (from £3.68)
  • The rate for apprentices will increase from £2.65 to £2.68 an hour

Also, Jo Swinson, the Minister for Employment Relations, has announced that a new scheme to publicly name employers who fail to pay the national minimum wage will be introduced in October 2013.  The new rules are part of government efforts to toughen up enforcement of the national minimum wage and increase compliance. Under the existing scheme, employers have to meet one of seven criteria before they can be named. The revised scheme will remove these restrictions so that any employer who fails to pay the minimum wage can be named.

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