The government has announced changes to the National Living Wage off the back of recommendations by the Low Pay Commission.

The National Living Wage previously applied to workers aged 23 and up while the National Minimum Wage applied to those under 23 in separate age bands.

The new changes, which will come into force in April 2024, sees the National Living Wage expanded to include workers aged 21 and 22. The hourly rate is also set to increase across the board by up to 21.2% marking the largest ever increase in cash terms.

The changes to National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates are outlined in the below table:

Age band Current rate Rate from 1 April 2024
21 and over (National Living Wage) £10.42 £11.44
18-20 years old £7.49 £8.60
16-17 years old £5.28 £6.40
Apprentices £5.28 £6.40

What Do Employers Need To Do?

The changes in National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage will affect 2.7 million workers and so their employers will need to be aware of the increases, the deadlines, and how this may affect their payroll.

Employers will need to ensure the hourly rate they pay their employees is in line with the increases for each age band by April 2024. Where employees fall below the rate, employers will need to increase their hourly rate. This will also need to be reflected in their employment contracts.

Your Rights as a Worker on Minimum Wage

If your employer doesn’t raise your hourly rate in line with the National Living Wage or National Living Wage (depending on your age/job title), you should raise the issue with your employer in the first instance. It may be that there’s been a simple mistake and the issue can be resolved easily.

If speaking to your employer doesn’t resolve the issue, you may need to escalate things by raising a grievance to your employer. They will then need to investigate and give you a formal response.

If you are still not able to resolve the issue, you may wish to make a claim in the employment tribunal. It is worth noting that an employment tribunal claim must be started within 3 months of your most recent underpayment so we would always advise you seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity to understand your position.

Contact an Employment Law Solicitor at Farleys

Farleys’ employment law specialists are on hand to provide confidential legal advice on a wide range of issues to both employees and employers, including pay disputes and breaches of employment contracts. To discuss an employment dispute with a member of the team, please call 0845 287 0939 or get in touch by email.