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Quarterly news:

Spring 2024

Changes to the minimum wage

A reminder that minimum wage rates changed on 1 April 2024.

The new hourly rates are: £11.44 for workers aged 21 and over (this rate is referred to as the National Living Wage); £8.60 for those aged 18 to 20; £6.40 for those under 18 and over school leaving age. This is a major jump for those aged 21 and 22, who fall into the higher National Living Wage category for the first time. The new apprentice rate is £6.40 and the daily accommodation offset is now £9.99.

Employers continue to be named as part of the government’s minimum wage enforcement activity. Of the 524 named in February 2024, 82 had made errors over payment to apprentices. It should be remembered that the £6.40 apprentice rate is now the appropriate rate to use when paying apprentices aged under 19, as well as those aged 19 or over who are in the first year of their apprenticeship.

Where an apprentice is aged 19 and over, and has also finished the first year of their apprenticeship, they become entitled to age-related minimum wage. So, for example, an apprentice who is 21, and has finished year one of their apprenticeship, would now be entitled to the minimum wage hourly rate of £11.44.

Another prime problem area is making deductions which take payment below minimum wage. 183 employers were named for errors over deductions for items such as food and meals; travel; uniform; childcare and salary sacrifice schemes. Incorrectly calculating working time was also high on the list of problem areas.

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