Rise in UK national minimum wage – 1st October 2008

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 - DWP, Employment, HMRC, Legal, Minimum Wage, regulation

From Wednesday 1st October, the UK national minimum wage increases from £5.52 to £5.73 per hour for workers aged 22 and over, £4.77 for 18-21-year-olds and £3.53 for those aged 16 and 17.

As is seen by the pursuit and prosecution of high-profile employers like Loch Fyne restaurants, not only are HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions enforcing the regulation, tough new penalties are set to come into force from April 2009 for employers that flout the rules. An information campaign over the next six months will aim to make sure that every employer is aware of the changes.

Pat McFadden, employment relations minister, said: “Ten years ago, the National Minimum Wage was born, marking the start of a hard-fought campaign to introduce a basic standard of employment rights that every worker could be protected by. The minimum wage has made a lasting and significant difference to the low paid, with around a million workers benefiting from the increase each year.”

Is the national minimum wage a good thing? Much as though there is an argument that jobs are resultantly forced overseas, I don’t think its right that employers paying people below what are considered minimum living standards, and hence result in the tax payer then subsidising them, is at all right: employers should pay reasonable wages. And much as though the level of the minimum wage was set at least three months ago, and costs are falling in the credit crunch – it still seems pretty reasonable, if not low. Hence, I don’t think holding it back will make any difference to unemployment levels over the next two years – it will still rise: but its introduction will mean that employee’s will be fairly paid

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