Wages are increasing from April 1, as the National Living Wage (for those aged 23 and over) and the National Minimum Wage (for those of at least school leaving age) increases.
From April 1, the new rate will be £9.50 for those aged 23+ (the current rate is £8.91). For 21 and 22-year-olds the new rate will be £9.18 (up from £8.36); for 18 to 20-year-olds it will be £6.83 (up from £6.56); and for under 18s the new National Living Wage will be £4.81 (up from £4.62).
There is also an apprentice rate increase, which is rising from £4.30 to £4.81. Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they are aged under 19 or aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship. Those aged over 19, or who have completed their first year, are entitled to the National Minimum Wage (or National Living Wage, if aged 23 or over).
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.