The National Minimum and Living Wage Increases
National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) rates will increase in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK from 1 April 2017. Indeed from 2017 onwards all minimum wage rates are to increase on 1 April of each year.
The increases taking effect from 1 April 2017 are:
- National Living Wage (25 years old and over): £7.50 per hour
- National Minimum Wage adult rate (21 to 24 years old): £7.05 per hour
- National Minimum Wage (18 to 20 years old): £5.60 per hour
- National Minimum Wage (16 to 17 years old): £4.05 per hour
- National Minimum Wage (apprentice rate): £3.50 per hour
Employers will probably know that the NLW is a premium added on to the NMW for all workers (not limited to employees) aged 25 and over. The NLW was first applied in April 2016.
The NLW should not be confused with the Living Wage set by the Living Wage Foundation, which is an independent organization that campaigns for a higher voluntary minimum hourly rate of pay calculated according to the basic cost of living.
In GB, there is guidance for employers on calculation of the national minimum wage issued by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) that can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/590170/calculating-minimum-wage-guidance.pdf
There is also a NMW calculator which employees /employers can use to check whether the correct rate is being paid that can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/am-i-getting-minimum-wage
ACAS, who are the counterparts to the Labour Relations Agency (LRA) in GB, has also published Guidance on the NMW, which is available on its website http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1902