Your guide to the new National Minimum and Living Wage rates

Employ people on the National Minimum or Living Wage? They’re due a pay rise on 1 April

With these statutory rises coming in, employers will need to make relevant adjustments to their payroll to ensure that they’re still paying their staff at least the legal limit. Failing to do so really isn’t an option, as we explore below.
So here are the new rates:
Year
25 and over
21 to 24
18 to 20
Under 18
Apprentice
Current 2016 rate
£7.20
6.95
£5.55
£4.00
£3.40
April 2017 rate
£7.50
£7.05
£5.60
£4.05
£3.50
You may find it surprising that the National Living Wage is rising in April. Nope, it’s not Déjà vu! They’ve just moved the annual date the increase arrives by six months, to put it in line with the Minimum Wage rises. Therefore, you’ll now only need to do the sums once a year. Some good news, at least!
Failing to pay your staff properly? The repercussions are huge for you, your business, and your staff. Not only does it leave your employees in financial turmoil, it’s really just an exercise in employers shooting themselves in the foot. No brand is safe from the public shaming that HMRC and the Press can inflict.
Not even celeb chef Michael Roux Jr, who recently held his hands up to not paying the Minimum Wage to his kitchen staff.
HMRC can use the powers they have to demand back payments for all staff and fine organisations up to twice that amount. You can get caught, not just by paying a low rate, but also if staff aren’t being paid for all the hours that they work. It’s key then, that all businesses have an accurate way of recording time and attendance to complement payroll.
Pleading ignorance falls on deaf ears. The government released some of the more outlandish excuses recently. “It’s part of UK culture not to pay young workers for the first three months, as they have to prove their worth first” and “She only makes tea”!
With Minimum Wage rates rising, and auto enrolment pensions coming, it’s becoming more expensive to employ people. Our top tip then is to make sure all who work for you are doing the best job possible. If they are working at maximum productivity they are far more likely to help you meet your business’s objectives.
This is not something you want to get wrong! For help making sure you are paying your staff the correct rates, call The HR Dept
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Ian heads up the HR Dept Edinburgh & the Lothians team. The HR Dept specialises in helping SMEs with everything to with employment, through a local and personal service delivering practical and pragmatic advice and support. With nearly 30 years HR experience, Ian has a wealth of experience in helping businesses to ensure success through their people, be legally compliant and handle tricky people issues. As a business owner himself, Ian understands the challenges that come with running and growing a business. He is known for his ability to explain complex concepts simply and to make learning fun and enjoyable.