Employers: National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage set to increase

by Michael Blaken

Published on 24th March 2021

If you are an employer and currently pay some or all of your staff the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage, then you’ll need to make sure you increase their salaries in April.

From 1 April 2021, the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) both go up.

At the moment, the National Living Wage applies to those aged 25 and over and is set at £8.72 per hour. From 1 April, the NLW will apply to all those aged 23 and over, and rises to £8.91 per hour.

The National Minimum Wage applies to those of at least school leaving age, and is also increasing:

  • Under 18s, rising from £4.55 to £4.62
  • 18 to 20-year-olds, rising from £6.45 to £6.56
  • 21-22-year-olds, the new rate is £8.36

The minimum wage for apprentices is also changing from £4.15 to £4.30. Those entitled to an apprentice rate must be under 19 or over 19 but in the first year of their apprenticeship. Once they are aged over 19 and have also completed their first year, they are entitled to the National Minimum Wage (or National Living Wage if aged over 23).

It is essential to adhere to the minimum and living wage rules. HMRC can prosecute employers who pay below the NMW and NLW rates and the maximum fine is £20,000 per worker. There is also a risk of being banned from company directorships for up to 15 years.

If you need any help with payroll for your company, at Optimum we have an inhouse payroll team who will be able to help.

For more information about our accountancy and legal services for businesses in Swindon, Wiltshire, Cheltenham and Gloucestershire, and across the South West, please get in touch.

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