The Government has announced the National Minimum Wage rates to apply from April 2020.
From April 2020, the new rates are:
- The National Living Wage for ages 25 and above - up 6.2% to £8.72
- The National Minimum Wage for 21 to 24-year-olds - up 6.5% to £8.20
- For 18 to 20-year-olds - up 4.9% to £6.45
- For under-18s - up 4.6% to £4.55
- For apprentices - up 6.4% to £4.15
The Government has heralded the increase to the National Living Wage, which is the legally binding NMW for workers aged 25 and over, (an increase of 51p per hour) as the biggest ever increase to the NLW. The previous biggest increase to the NLW rate was in April 2016, when the rate rose by 50p per hour.
The Federation of Small Businesses has however cautioned that small businesses in sectors with tight margins and which are heavily labour-dependent, such as the care sectors, retail or hospitality will be particularly badly hit without financial support, such as accompanying tax breaks. The FSB points out, for example that the NMW rate increases also coincide with a 1.7% increase in business rates in April.
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The government also said it will press ahead with recommendations by the Low Pay Commission to allow workers over 21 to receive the national living wage by 2024 when it is set to reach £10.50 an hour.