The Government has published the new National Minimum Wage rates, which as you would expect, mean increases across the board from 1 October this year.

The new hourly rates will be as follows:

  • Standard (adult) rate (workers aged 21 and over): £5.93 (rising from £5.80)
  • Development rate (workers aged between 18 and 20): £4.92 (rising from £4.83)
  • Young workers rate (workers aged under 18 but above the compulsory school age who are not apprentices): £3.64 (rising from £3.57)

Of particular note is that the Government has reduced the qualification age for the adult standard rate to 21-year-olds from October 2010 (the qualifying date up until that date is 22).

The Regulations also provide for a national minimum wage at the rate of £2.50 per hour for apprentices who are employed under a contract of apprenticeship or who are engaged under certain Government arrangements in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Finally, the amount permitted to be taken into account where accommodation is provided to the employee rises from £4.51 to £4.61 per day.

Not the most exciting of changes, but nevertheless you should ensure that those lower paid employees are paid the appropriate rate. You also now have no excuse to be caught out by the fact that workers from the age of 21 are now entitled to be paid at the main rate.