HM Insights

Employers must take note of statutory wage rate rise on 1 April 2019

As is now customary, statutory wage rates increase today, 1 April. The National Living Wage (NLW), which applies to workers aged 25 years or older, increases from £7.83 to £8.21 per hour. The increase follows the government’s decision to accept recommendations put forward by the Low Pay Commission.

For workers aged 21 to 24, the National Minimum Wage rate increases from £7.38 to £7.70 per hour.

The Youth Development Rate, covering 18 to 20-year-old workers, also increases from its current rate of £5.90 to £6.15 per hour, while the rate for 16 to 17-year-olds increases from £4.20 to £4.35 per hour.

For those who qualify for the apprenticeship rate, this is increasing from £3.70 to £3.90 per hour.

In addition, the accommodation offset increases from the current £7.00 per day to £7.55 per day.

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What do employers need to do?

Employers should:

  • know the age and birthday of all new workers and ensure they are paid as a minimum the correct rate for their age;
  • keep track of workers' birthdays and increase their hourly rate when they move into a new age band; and
  • keep track of hours worked to ensure that the hourly minimum wage rates are being adhered to.

What do employers need to know?

It's a criminal offence to pay below the applicable national minimum wage rates.
The rates apply not just to employees but to anyone considered to be a worker – and includes those on zero hours contracts.
HMRC has the right to investigate employers and, where it finds a breach, impose a fine on the employer. HMRC also publishes an annual list of employers who have breached their national minimum wage obligations, with the publication always attracting the attention of the press.

Get in touch

If you would like further information on the above or anything else related to work or employment, please contact a member of our employment team.

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