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Minimum Wage


The national minimum wage is an important cornerstone of Government strategy aimed at providing employees with decent minimum standards and fairness in the workplace. It applies to nearly all workers and sets hourly rates below which pay must not be allowed to fall. It helps business by ensuring companies will be able to compete on the basis of quality of the goods and services they provide and not on low prices based predominantly on low rates of pay. The rates set are based on the recommendations of the independent Low Pay Commission.

Main (adult) rate for workers aged 21 and over: £6.50 per hour from 1 October 2014. It was £6.31 previously.

Development rate for workers aged 18-20 inclusive: £5.13 per hour from 1 October 2014. It was £5.03 from 1st October 2013 to October 2014.

NB: The development rate can also apply to workers aged 21 and above during their first 6 months in a new job with a new employer and who are receiving accredited training.

16 and 17 year olds: £3.79 per hour from 1 October 2014, increasing from £3.72.
NB: 16 and 17 year old apprentices will be exempt from the new young workers rate.

The apprentice rate for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of the apprenticeship was £2.73 from 1st October 2014. It was £2.68 from 1st October 2013.

Fair Piece Rates: From October 2004, the Government is proposing that employers will have to pay their workers the minimum wage for every hour they work or a fair piece rate initially set at 100% of the minimum wage. The rate will increase to 120% of the minimum wage in April 2005 at which point most home workers will receive the minimum wage.

The Living Wage: An hourly rate set independently and updated annually.  It's calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK.  Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The UK Living Wage is calculated by the Centre for Research in Social Policy. The London Living Wage is calculated by the Greater London Authority. Paying the Living Wage is good for business, good for the individual and good for society. The London Living Wage is currently £8.80 per hour. The UK Living Wage for outside of London is currently £7.65 per hour.
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