Living wage rates rise for 2.5 million workers

Millions of workers will get a pay rise from Friday as national living wage rates rise. The UK government has said around 2.5million people will benefit from the biggest rate hike on record, pumping an extra £1,000 a year into the wages of full-time workers.

The National Living Wage will rise by 6.6% to £9.50 an hour for adults, by 9.8% to £9.18 for 21-22 year olds, by 4.1% to £6.83 for 18-20 year olds, 4.1% to £4.81 for 16-17 year olds and 11.9% to £4.81 for apprentices.

Ministers said the increase will particularly benefit workers in sectors such as retail, hospitality, cleaning and maintenance.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: ‘We have never been more determined to make work pay, and by offering the biggest ever cash increase to the National Living Wage, we are giving a boost to million British workers. While no government can control the global factors that drive up the cost of basic necessities, we will act absolutely wherever we can to mitigate rising costs.

The government has also announced that it will launch a communication campaign in the coming weeks to help make employees better understand the wages to which they are legally entitled, as well as the steps they can take if they fear being underpaid.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “This historic increase will mean a pay rise for millions of hard-working Britons, with the average full-time worker pocketing an extra £1,000 a year. We’re doing all we can to make sure people keep more of what they earn in these tough times, with a new tax plan that offers tax cuts to nearly 30 million people as well as £22billion to help reduce the cost of living.

Bryan Sanderson, who chairs the Low Pay Commission, said: “Minimum wage workers look after our elderly and sick, harvest and deliver our food and perform a host of other tasks that help us all. Many public sector workers, including for example teaching assistants, will also soon be included. They all deserve to be properly compensated and respected as key members of our society.

Nye Cominetti, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: ‘This is the fourth biggest increase in the 23-year history of the minimum wage, although it is unlikely to be enough to keep up with the rise prices. The UK has one of the most ambitious minimum wages in the world. But as the P&O ferry debacle showed, better treatment for low-wage workers does not start and end with the National Living Wage.

“Higher wage floors should be complemented by greater workplace safety and proper enforcement that sufficiently deters unscrupulous employers.”

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, which promotes a higher voluntary real living wage, said: “The rise is good news for low-wage workers, but it is still significantly lower than a real living wage based on this what it really costs to live. . Even before the cost of living crisis, millions of workers and families were struggling to stay afloat.

“With bills continuing to rise, many more are now at risk of falling into financial hardship. If we are to weather this storm, we need employers to act now, step up and provide a decent wage that meets day-to-day needs , providing security and stability for employers and workers.

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