Today sees the introduction of a new national minimum wage rate of £6.50 an hour.
The Low Pay Commission (LPC) has said the rise, the first real terms cash increase since 2008, is manageable for employers and will support full employment.
The National Minimum Wage rates from 1 October 2014, as recommended by the LPC, are:
- a 19p (3%) increase in the adult rate (from £6.31 to £6.50 per hour)
- a 10p (2%) increase in the rate for 18 to 20 year olds (from £5.03 to £5.13 per hour)
- a 7p (2%) increase in the rate for 16 to 17 year olds (from £3.72 to £3.79 per hour)
- a 5p (2%) increase in the rate for apprentices (from £2.68 to £2.73 per hour)
Katja Hall, deputy director-general of the CBI, commented that more needed to be done above and beyond wage rises to help people get on the career ladder: “The rise in the national minimum wage will help hard-pressed families, but can only be one part of the answer when it comes to raising living standards and ensuring everyone feels the benefits of growth.
“Business and politicians must do more to help people progress in their careers and help them move into roles with increased pay.”
Meanwhile, at last week’s party conference, Labour leader Ed Miliband pledged to increase the minimum wage to at least £8 if the party wins the next general election.