The Living Wage and National Minimum Wage

The new levels of the National Minimum and National Living Wage come into effect from 1st April 2019. The UK's minimum pay scales are governed by two different sets of regulation:

  • National Living Wage regulations were passed through parliament in 2016 with the goal of ensuring that all over-25s will be paid at least £9 per hour by 2020.
  • National Minimum Wage regulations have been in force since 1999 and apply to employees under 25.

The rates from April 2019 are:

  • £8.21 for people aged 25 and over (rising from £7.83)
  • £7.70 for 21 - 24 year-olds  (rising from £7.38)

Penalties for employers who flout the regulations are punitive. If an employee can prove that they have not been paid correctly, HMRC can issue a fine and insist that employers pay any arrears. If these monies remain unpaid, the employment tribunal could impose fines of up to £20,000. You can find out more about your reponsibilities as an employer on the ACAS website.

Voluntary ‘Real Living Wage’ Scheme

In addition to this mandatory scheme, there is also a scheme known as the ‘Real Living Wage’ run by the Living Wage Foundation, which is based on the cost of living.

There are currently around 4,500 accredited employers who support the scheme which, according to the Living Wage Foundation, helps them attract the best staff.

As a reputable consultancy with some 20 years experience, we understand the nature of the local job market, which means we can offer you guidance on the optimum hourly pay rates and salaries to attract the best candidates.

For more information about setting appropriate pay rates, please contact Tracy Welch at Priority Appointments on 01256 334575 or email us.


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