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Pay rise for two million workers as National Living Wage rises

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Nearly two million workers on minimum wages receive a pay rise from today as the National Living Wage (NLW) goes up by almost 5%.

The NLW – the minimum pay per hour workers aged 25 and over are entitled to by law – will rise from £7.83 to £8.21.

The increase will see 1.8 million workers receive an additional £690 over the year from today.

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is also increasing from £7.38 to £7.70 for 21 to 24-year olds and from £5.90 to £6.15 for 18-20 year olds.

Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said: “We are committed to making sure that UK workers get a fair day’s pay and the rise in the National Living and Minimum Wage, benefiting millions of people, delivers on this commitment.

“Since the National Living Wage was announced in 2015, it has helped protect the lowest paid – increasing faster than inflation and average earnings. Our minimum wage rates are among the highest in the world and, through our modern Industrial Strategy, we are determined to end low pay and workers get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.”

Six million still struggling

However, research conducted by the Living Wage Foundation shows that a worker on the new government minimum would earn an annual salary worth £1,540.50 a year less than the real Living Wage.

The real Living Wage is a voluntary benchmark for employers to follow and is separate from the compulsory National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage.

The real Living Wage is currently £9 per hour, rising to £10.55 in London.

Over 5,000 employers now pay the real Living Wage, including firms such as Aviva, Ikea and Burberry.

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “Today’s increase in the government minimum wage will provide a welcome boost to low pay workers. But around 6 million workers still earn less than the real Living Wage and struggle to keep their heads above water. Many are unable to afford even the basics like decent family meals, or a warm and safe home.

“Over 5,000 responsible employers have gone beyond the government minimum and committed to pay a real Living Wage. We now need to see more businesses step up and provide a wage that truly covers the cost of living.”

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