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National Minimum Wage

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19 March 2012

The government has announced that the national minimum wage for workers aged 21 and over will increase in October 2012 by 11p to £6.19 per hour. The minimum wage for workers under the age of 21 remains unchanged.

This 1.8% increase is lower than the current rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, which rose by 3.6% for the year ending January.  The Low Pay Commission’s  recommendations on national minimum wage are more in line with average earnings  which increased by 1.4% for the same period.

The rate for apprentices will increase by 5p to £2.65 per hour.

Business Secretary Vince Cable is quoted as saying that the decision struck the ‘right balance between pay and jobs’. Union leaders have criticised the unanimous decision from the Low Pay Commission saying the minimum wage should have kept place with inflation.

The National Minimum Wage rates are:

Category  1 October 2012  1 October 2011
Aged 21 and over £6.19 £6.08
Aged 18 – 20 £4.98 £4.98
Aged 16 – 17 £3.68 £3.68
Apprentice rate aged under 19 or in their first year £2.65  £2.60