THE NATIONAL minimum wage for those over the age of 21 has just gone up from £6.50 to £6.70. Apparently, 74% of businesses didn’t realise. Apprentices also got their biggest ever pay rise this month – up 57p to £3.30 an hour.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills called the survey’s findings a “revelation”. It also discovered that: 22% of respondents didn’t think full-time employees were eligible; 23% didn’t think part-time employees were eligible; 32% didn’t think agency employees were eligible; and 47% didn’t think trainees or those on probation were eligible. The question is: did any of those asked know anything?
What’s more, how will they cope come April next year with the new national living wage for those over 25? This will see pay jump from £6.70 to £7.20 an hour for that group – a shift that will add 3.6% to the wage bill of the foodservice sector and 2.8% to hospitality.
The policy has some pretty vocal opponents. The auguries are bad, they say, with redundancies and higher prices on the cards. “They”, generally, being the CEOs of the companies affected and the ones about as far removed from the new baseline as anyone.