The Government has recently announced its intention to accept the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations and increase national minimum wage rates with effect from April 2021.
From 6 April 2021 (the start of the new tax year), the increases will be as follows:
• the ‘National Living Wage’ (for 23 and overs) goes from £8.72 to £8.91
• the rate for 21-22 year olds goes from £8.20 to £8.36
• the rate for 18-20 year olds goes from £6.45 to £6.56
• the rate for 16-17 year olds goes from £4.55 to £4.62
• the Apprenticeship rate goes from £4.15 to £4.30
The observant amongst you will notice that the ‘National Living Wage’ will apply to the 23 and overs from April 2021. Currently, only the 25 and overs are entitled to the highest rate of national minimum wage.
The right time?
Few would ordinarily begrudge low-paid workers a relatively small increase in their hourly rate of pay. However, in circumstances where some economists are predicting another 1 million unemployed over the next 12 months, is there a risk that a measure such as this could adversely affect the position of some of the most vulnerable members of our national workforce? Let’s hope not; only time will tell.