With changes to the National Minimum Wage rate coming into effect as of the 1st October 2014, we want to ensure that whether you are an employer or a worker you are aware of all of the facts. No matter how small or large a business, all employers must pay their workers at least the minimum wage rate they are entitled to.
As a result of the change, the rates in the UK will increase to £6.50 for workers aged 21 and over, £5.13 for 18 to 20 year olds, £3.79 for 16-17 year olds, and £2.73 for Apprentices*. However, factors such as the provision of accommodation, travel time and uniform hire can all affect how much a worker is owed and must be taken into account by the employer.
Paying workers correctly and in compliance with the law is crucial. It is not only the rates that have increased, but also the financial penalty that employers have to pay if they do not comply with minimum wage law. Here at BIS we want to highlight that employers who fail to pay workers the right amount will be publicly named and shamed, face a penalty of up to £20,000, and may even be prosecuted.
Ignorance is not an excuse, so please pass the message on to your friends, family, colleagues and employers – we need to make sure that everyone knows their rights and that everyone understands the law.
If you are an employer or a worker and are unsure about what you should be paying or receiving, please call the Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368 or visit www.gov.uk for free advice and information. We can help with anything from advice to approaching the topic of pay with employers, to explaining the process of claiming arrears if there has been underpayment in the past.
We are very interested to hear your thoughts regarding the upcoming rate changes and how you feel that these will affect you, so please let us know what you think in the comment box below.
National Minimum Wage rates
2014 (from 1st October)
£6.50 21 and over
£5.13 18 – 20
£3.79 16 - 17
* This rate is for apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year. All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their age.