The National Living Wage (NLW) is due to increase in April and will see many workers benefit from a boost in their take-home pay.
The National Living Wage was introduced last year and aimed to lift the UK out of what the chancellor at the time described as a “low-pay, low-productivity trap”. The change had a huge impact on the earning of lower paid workers. In fact, 1.6 million workers in the UK, approximately 6.7% of all employees over 25, benefitted. Many business experts were worried about the impact the increase would have on businesses and employment levels but according to recent reports employment levels haven’t declined as a result.
It is believed that many other workers, predominantly those in the bottom 25% also benefitted from an increase as employers sought to maintain the differential between their employees.
The rise will be welcomed by workers as the general cost of living in the UK has continued to rise. Fuel, rent and food prices are all on the increase and although many people benefitted from the introduction of the NLW last year there are also many who say they haven’t actually felt the benefit because of the higher cost of living.
The next rise in the NLW takes place this April and will see it increase from £7.20 per hour to £7.50 per hour, a rise of 4%. This latest increase is another step towards the government’s 2020 target of an NLW of £9 per hour.
Workers under the age of 25 will also benefit from an increase in pay as the National Minimum Wage rises albeit by just a small amount. Workers aged 21 -24 will see their hourly rate rise from £6.95 to £7.05, 18 to 20-year-olds will benefit from a rise of just 5p as will under 18s. Rates for apprentices are going up from £3.40 to £3.50 per hour.