National Minimum Wage increases

Changes to the National Minimum Wage have been announced and will become effective on 1st October 2010.

Farleys is therefore encouraging businesses to check their employee’s contracts of employment to ensure they are up to date and in accordance with the new minimum hourly rates.

The minimum wage changes also include a new ruling regarding the lower age limit for adult workers, which is thought to affect some 850,000 workers in the UK.

A new minimum rate of £2.50 per hour is also being introduced for apprentices.

The new increases to the National Minimum Wage are as follows:

• Adult Main rate (aged 21 and over) - from £5.80 to £5.93 per hour

• Youth Development rate (aged 18 to 20) - from £4.83 to £4.92 per hour

• Workers aged 16 to 17 years – from £3.57 to £3.64 per hour

Significant changes arising from the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 (Amendment) Regulations 2010 also include:

• the extension of the national minimum wage Adult Main rate to 21-year-old workers; and

• a minimum rate of £2.50 per hour for apprentices is also being introduced. This shall apply to all apprentices who are under 19 or those who are aged 19 and over but in the first year of their apprenticeship, currently exempt from the National Minimum Wage.

It is important to remember that businesses that do not adhere to the National Minimum Wage will be liable to pay damages and will be required to re-pay workers arrears of wages at current rates.

Victoria Mitchell
Employment Solicitor
Farleys Solicitors LLP