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The Government has announced updates to the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage, to take effect from April 2024.

National Living Wage for workers aged 21 and over The National Living Wage (NLW) initially applied only to individuals aged 25 and over. In April 2021, following the Low Pay Commission's recommendations in 2019, the age threshold was lowered to 23. The threshold will be further reduced to 21 from April 2024.

Increases in hourly rates

From 1 April 2024 there will be: A £1.02 (or 9.8%) increase to the NLW for those aged 21 and over - from £10.42 to £11.44 per hour A £1.11 (or 14.8%) increase to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for those aged 18-20 - from £7.49 to £8.60 per hour A £1.12 (or 21.2%), increase to the NMW for those aged 16-17 and apprentices - from £5.28 to £6.40 per hour The Low Pay Commission attributes the size of these increases to the robust growth in pay across the economy. However, the increases stop short of the voluntary 'real' Living Wage set by the Living Wage Foundation, which is currently £12 across the UK and £13.15 in London.

Implications for employers

Employers who do not pay staff at the appropriate rates not only risk claims from workers, but may also be 'named and shamed' in a government report. It is important for employers to keep abreast of the increases in pay rates, and in particular the application of the NLW to younger workers aged 21 and over from next April.

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