The Government has announced that from 1 October 2013 the minimum wage rates will be increased as follows:
- For 21 year olds and over - £6.31 an hour
- For 18 to 20 year olds - £5.03 an hour
- For 16 to 17 year olds who are not apprentices - £3.72 an hour
- For apprentices under the age of 19 or in their first year of their apprenticeship - £2.68 an hour
Furthermore, the accommodation offset will increase to a daily maximum of £4.91. The accommodation offset allows employers to pay less if they provide employees with free accommodation.
There have been concerns that the apprentice rate has not been complied with. In the wake of this the Government has said it will work with employers, apprentices and training providers to promote awareness of pay rights and responsibilities. It will also be clamping down on non-compliance by employers of apprentices.
The Agricultural Wages Board, which has the responsibility of determining minimum wages and other terms for agricultural workers is also to be abolished on 25 June 2013. However, its rules will remain valid until 1 October 2013.