Pay rise for millions of workers from today
The National Living Wage is the government-mandated minimum wage for people aged 23 and over. From today, it has risen 6.6% from £8.91 to £9.50.
According to the government, this is the “largest ever” increase to the National Living Wage, adding £1,000 to the wages of full-time workers.
Since the introduction of the National Living Wage in 2016, the yearly earnings of a full-time worker has increased by more than £5,000, the government said.
Meanwhile the minimum wage for those aged 21-22 has risen 9.8% from £8.36 to £9.18 while workers aged 18-20 will see pay increase 4.1% from £6.56 per hour to £6.83.
Both 16-17-year olds and those on an apprenticeship will now earn £4.81 per hour.
The move to raise the rates follow recommendations made to the government by the Low Pay Commission in the autumn. It said the increases mean a “significant step forward towards reaching the target set by the government for the NLW to reach two-thirds of median earnings by 2024”.
However, it added that while the 6.6% NLW rise “gets us back on track to reach the 2024 target, it will unfortunately likely be a real terms cut”.
Bryan Sanderson, chair of the Low Pay Commission, said: “Minimum wage workers across the United Kingdom continue to play a vital role in ensuring a strong post-pandemic economic recovery. In previous years the LPC has sought to keep increases to the minimum wage above inflation. However, inflation is now expected to be higher than the forecasts we had when we made our recommendations last October.
“Workers on the minimum wage; care for our elderly and sick, harvest and deliver our food, and do a multitude of other tasks which help us all. Many public sector workers including for example teaching assistants will also shortly be included. They all deserve to be properly remunerated and respected as key members of our society.”
‘Make work pay’
The government said 2.5 million people will benefit from the wage rises, particularly those working in sectors such as retail, hospitality and cleaning and maintenance.
Business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “We have never been more determined to make work pay, and by providing the biggest cash increase ever to the National Living Wage from today, we are giving a boost to millions of UK workers.
“While no government can control the global factors pushing up the cost of everyday essentials, we will absolutely act wherever we can to mitigate rising costs.
“With more employees on the payroll than ever before, this government will continue to stand up for workers.”