National minimum wage goes up
The national minimum wage has gone up by 20p to £6.70 for adults from today.
The apprentice rate sees the biggest rise, by 57p to £3.30 an hour, while the rate for 16 to 17 year olds only increases 8 pence to £3.87 per hour.
The rate change comes as a new report predicts the proportion of workers earning the minimum is set to double in the next five years.
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Think tank the Resolution Foundation said the figures tied in with the rising minimum wage set out in Chancellor George Osborne’s budget.
The new rates were recommended by the independent advisory body the Low Pay Commission, apart from the apprentice rate where a rise of only 7p was recommended.
UK Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: "As a one-nation Government we are making sure that every part of Britain benefits from our growing economy and today more than 1.4 million of Britain's lowest-paid workers will be getting a well-deserved pay rise."
According to the Resolution Foundation’s report, women and older workers are particularly likely to be affected. Roughly 15 per cent of female employees will be earning within one per cent of the legal wage floor by 2020, along with around one in five of those aged over 66.
Adam Corlett, economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said more work was needed by government and businesses to ensure people didn’t get stuck on the wage floor.
“The new ambition shown by the Chancellor is welcome. But it will mean that around one in seven private sector workers will have their pay directly set by government by 2020. Given the scale of the change, government must now work closely with the Low Pay Commission and employers to ensure the policy is a success,” he said.