On 21st November 2023, the Government announced it had accepted the Low Pay Commission’s recommendation on the rates for the National Living Wage (NLW) and the National Minimum Wage (NMW). The changes will mark the largest ever cash increase in the minimum wage which has increased by more than £1.00 for the first time.
What are the changes?
The current NLW age threshold will be lowered from 23 to 21 and the new rates will apply from April 2024 as follows:
|Rates from 1 April 2024
|Increase in pence
|NLW (21 and over)
|18-20 Year Old Rate
|16-17 Year Old Rate
What does this mean for employers?
The Government has said that, for a full-time worker aged 21, the NLW rate rise will mean an annual pay rise of almost £2,300.
Therefore, the increases will have a significant impact on businesses and it’s important they review pay rates in the new year to ensure the increases to the NLW and NMW rates in April don’t result in workers being underpaid once the increases take effect. It’s also key for employers to keep a record of their workers’ ages to ensure their pay continues to comply with the NLW/NMW. This is particularly relevant to employers with a young workforce and apprentices, as they move into different age bands or complete the first year of their apprenticeship.
However, it is also vital that employers are considering the pay of salaried workers too, ensuring that their salary does not actually bring them below the NMW/NLW levels when calculated against the hours they work.
QCS will review and update the Minimum Wage Policy and Procedure in light of the above changes in due course.
A further update will be issued in 2024 to remind members of the upcoming changes.
If you have any queries or are in need of specific advice in relation to employee pay or any Employment law query, please contact a member of the AfterAthena team (part of the Napthens Group) who are able to offer 30 minutes of free advice to QCS members.