National Minimum/Living Wage 2024

The minimum wage for workers aged 21 and over will rise from £10.42 to £11.44 an hour in April 2024. Are you ready?

 

Get ready for some positive changes coming in April! The minimum wage for workers aged 21 and over is set to increase from £10.42 to £11.44 per hour. This impressive 9.8% boost is tohelp workers cope with the rising cost of living. Notably, younger workers under 21 will also see an increase in their minimum pay.

This increase in the minimum wage is fantastic news for approximately two million people across the UK. It couldn’t have come at a better time, considering the challenges many households, especially those with lower incomes, are facing due to the increasing cost of living.

To prepare for this change, businesses should start planning now. It’s important to ensure that the increase in minimum pay for your lower-paid workers doesn’t unintentionally devalue the pay of your other employees. Take a close look at where you may need to make adjustments in wages elsewhere to maintain fairness.

Additionally, businesses can explore other benefits to make their overall compensation packages more appealing. In our salary guide, we discuss various benefits that employees value, such as hybrid working arrangements and additional vacation days. Offering opportunities like remote work can help offset other household expenses, like after-school childcare and commuting costs. There are plenty of additional benefits that employees appreciate, so it’s worth considering what enhancements you can provide to reward and retain your valuable workforce. For more details on the minimum wage rates for 2024, you can refer to the information available on the government’s official webpage: Minimum Wage Rates for 2024.

 

How much is the minimum wage?

The minimum wage – known officially as the National Living Wage – varies depending on the age of the employee.

NOTE: The NLW threshold as decreased from 23 to 21, meaning that from Apr 2024, any workers over the age of 21 will be entitled to NLW.

From 1 April 2024, the increases will be:

New National Minimum Wage From 1 April 2023 per hour From 1 April 2024 per hour
Aged 21 + £10.41 £11.44
Aged 18 to 20 £7.49 £8.60
Under 18s £5.28 £6.40
Apprentice rate £5.28 £6.40

 

*The apprentice rate applies to people aged under 19, or people over 19 in the first year of their apprenticeship.

The minimum wage is the same across all parts of the UK.

 

National Minimum Wage with salaries

To give you a better idea of how this will impact your salaries  we’ve compiled the following table for you:

Minimum Wage                     Age 21 and over From 1 April 2023 From April 2024
(£10.42 per hour) (£11.44 per hour)
Hours worked per week Per Week Salary per annum NEW Per Week Salary per annum Increase per annum
35 £364.70 £18,964.40 £400.44 £20,822.90 £1,858.50
36 £375.12 £19,506.24 £411.88 £21,417.85 £1,911.61
37 £385.54 £20,048.08 £423.32 £22,012.80 £1,964.72
37.5 £390.75 £20,319.00 £429.04 £22,310.26 £1,991.26
38 £395.96 £20,589.92 £434.76 £22,607.73 £2,017.81
39 £406.38 £21,131.76 £446.20 £23,202.67 £2,070.91
40 £416.80 £21,673.60 £457.64 £23,797.60 £2,124.00
41 £427.22 £22,215.44 £469.08 £24,392.55 £2,177.11
42 £437.64 £22,757.28 £480.52 £24,987.50 £2,230.22
43 £448.06 £23,299.12 £491.97 £25,582.43 £2,283.31
44 £458.48 £23,840.96 £503.41 £26,177.40 £2,336.44
45 £468.90 £24,382.80 £514.85 £26,772.30 £2,389.50

 

Download our simple guide below to keep for reference.

National Minimum Wage Comparison Including Salaries 2023-2024

 

Do employers have to pay the minimum wage?

In the UK, the national minimum wage establishes the legally mandated minimum hourly wage that employers must pay to their workers.

While a significant number of minimum-wage positions are prevalent in sectors like retail, care, and hospitality, they can be found across various other industries as well.

It’s crucial for businesses to ensure compliance with the minimum wage regulations, as failure to do so can result in fines imposed by HMRC, the UK tax authority. Non-compliance not only incurs financial penalties but can also tarnish a company’s reputation.

If you believe that you should be receiving the minimum wage but are not, you have options. You can start by discussing the matter with your employer directly. Alternatively, you can file a complaint through the HMRC website. Additional guidance and assistance are also available through the ACAS website or by reaching out to their helpline at 0300 123 1100.

 

Who sets the minimum wage?

Each year, the government determines the minimum wage rates based on recommendations from an independent advisory body known as the Low Pay Commission.

The Low Pay Commission’s suggestions are shaped by a thorough assessment of the economic landscape. This includes factors like the employment rate, overall earnings trends, and the cost of essential necessities like food and housing, all of which contribute to their recommendations.

 

Who isn’t entitled to the minimum wage?

There are some groups of people who don’t qualify for the minimum wage, these include the self-employed, company directors, volunteers, members of the armed forces, prisoners and people living and working in a religious community.

People with disabilities or those in long-term unemployment who take part in a government work programme are paid fixed amounts at different stages of the programme, which are less than the minimum wage.

Work done by prisoners is paid at a minimum of £4 a week, while students on work placements of less than a year as a required part of their studies are not entitled to be paid anything.

When was the minimum wage introduced?

The law to introduce the minimum wage was passed in 1998 by the Labour government and it came into force the following year. Before the minimum wage was introduced, the lowest-paid people consistently saw the slowest growth in their wages. The introduction of the minimum wage helped reverse this trend.

Before the minimum wage was introduced, there was concern that it would cost jobs, because employers would compensate for their higher wage bill by hiring fewer people. However there was no evidence of an overall loss of jobs linked to the minimum wage.

What is the ‘Real Living Wage’ and how much is it?

As well as the minimum wage there is also the Real Living Wage. More than 300,000 workers benefit from this voluntary “Real Living Wage”, which is set by the Living Wage Foundation charity. It’s above the level of the legal minimum wage, reflecting what the charity thinks people need to earn to cover everyday needs.

It is now £11.95 per hour in London, and £10.90 per hour elsewhere in the UK. Some Employers voluntarily sign up to the Real Living Wage, with the number of Living Wage-accredited employers doubling to 11,000 employers in the last two years.

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