The Government has introduced increases to the National Minimum Wage rates of pay. It is the minimum pay per hour almost all workers are entitled to by law and depends on their age and whether they are an apprentice.

The new rates of pay are £6.70 for those aged 21 and over, £5.30 for 18-20 year olds and £3.87 for under 18s. For apprentices, the rate is £3.30 in their first year of employment. If apprentices are aged 19+, second year pay should be in-line with the National Minimum Wage rates for their age group (£5.30 if they are aged 19 or 20 or £6.70 if they are 21+).

No matter how large or small your business, it’s your obligation as an employer to ensure that all staff earning National Minimum Wage are paid correctly at the new rates. It can be a criminal offence for employers not to pay workers correctly or to falsify payment records.

Failure to pay the right rate could result in a penalty of up to £20,000 per worker and your firm could be ‘named and shamed’ in public. In addition, employers paying a worker below the minimum wage must pay any arrears immediately.

To assist you in being prepared for the change, a number of tools are available on the Government’s National Minimum Wage website. Alongside this resource, employment organisation, Acas, has set up an online helpline and telephone helpline (0300 123 1100) to provide support in correcting any issues.

For more information, click here