On the rise: National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage increases

As of 1 April 2019, the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates will increase.

The rates will increase as follows:

Age bracket Current rate April 2019 rate 
Over 25’s£7.83£8.21
21 to 24-year-olds£7.38£7.70
18 to 20-year-olds£5.90£6.15
16 to 17 year-olds£4.20£4.35
Apprentices*£3.70£3.90

*Apprentices under age 19, or age 19 and over but in the first year of apprenticeship. 

Accommodation offset

The accommodation offset also increases from £7.00 to £7.55 a day for each day when accommodation is provided during the pay period.

The future 

All these increases are above both inflation and rises in average earnings.

However, the rise in the National Living Wage to £8.21 represents a particularly significant increase of 4.9%, with the Treasury confirming that the annual earnings of a full-time minimum wage worker (aged 25 or over) will have increased by over £2,750 since the introduction of the NLW in April 2016.

The Low Pay Commission has stated that its recommendation is to keep increasing the NLW each year. This is to achieve its aim of an NLW rate of 60 per cent of median earnings by 2020, with the Commission predicting that the NLW will reach £8.62 in April 2020.

However, this is a lower rate than was predicted in the Government’s original plans. In his 2015 budget speech, former Chancellor George Osborne announced plans to bring the NLW to £9 an hour by 2020.

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