Incoming minimum wage increase for UK workers

As of 1 April 2017, the National Minimum Wage is set to increase to £7.50 an hour. The increase was announced in Chancellor Philip Hammond’s annual Autumn Statement last year. Hammond said he hopes to get the minimum wage to £9 an hour by 2020.

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Current vs new minimum wage

The new hourly rate will depend on your age as well as whether or not you’re an apprentice.

The table below compares the current and new rates for various age categories.

  25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
Current rate £7.20 £6.95 £5.55 £4.00 £3.40
April 2017 £7.50 £7.05 £5.60 £4.05 £3.50

 

Who is entitled to the National Minimum Wage?

Workers must be at least 16 years old (school leaving age) to be entitled to the National Minimum Wage. If a worker signs a contract for a payment below minimum wage, it is not legally binding and they are still entitled to the National Minimum Wage.

Workers are also entitled to the minimum wage if they are:

  • Foreign workers
  • Part-time workers
  • Casual labourers (e.g. hired to work for one day)
  • Agency workers
  • Apprentices
  • Trainees, workers on probation
  • Disabled workers
  • Offshore workers
  • Seafarers
  • Agricultural workers
  • Workers or homeworkers paid by the number of items they make

Payslips

Payslips should have a full breakdown of your salary, including how much you are earning before and after deductions. Your payslip must also indicate any deductions that may change each time you are paid, such as National Insurance contributions and tax.

Employers can choose whether they want to provide printed or electronic payslips, but they must be provided on or before payday every month.

Whether you are paid hourly, annually or per piece of work, you need to ensure that you are being paid the minimum wage. If you work in a restaurant or similar service industry where you receive tips, you aren’t allowed to be paid from your tips – you are still entitled to the National Minimum Wage.

Penalties for employers

Employers who do not comply with the new rates will incur significant penalties. If it is found that an employer hasn’t been paying minimum wage, any arrears must be paid out immediately, the employer will be fined and may even be named by government.

It is a criminal offence for employers not to pay their employees the correct National Minimum Wage or to fake payment records. The employer is responsible for keeping records to prove that they are paying their workers the correct wage. All payroll records must be kept for three years in case of investigation.

Our dedicated accountants can take care of your payroll and ensure your employees are receiving the correct wage. Give us a call on 020 7759 7553 or send us an email on payroll@sableinternational.com and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.

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