From October 1st 2011, the national minimum age will increase from £5.93 per hour to £6.08 per hour.
Women will be the main beneficiaries of the increase, with the change thought to benefit around 890,000 workers, two thirds of them women. The increase is expected to inject an extra £230 million into the economy because of higher tax rates and national insurance rates, as well as reducing the bill for those on benefits.
Younger workers receive pay boost
The hourly rate for workers aged 18 to 20 is also set to increase, from £4.92 to £4.98, while the one for 16 to 17-year-olds is rising from £3.68 to £3.64.
Apprentices will see their rate go up from £2.50 to £2.60. The unions are now pressing the Low Pay Commission (LPC) to increase the wage further with some leaders recommending a ‘living wage’ in excess of £8 per hour.
Welcome boost to low-income households
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber remarked that the rise will provide a welcome boost to low-income households that are having pay levels squeezed by current rates of inflation.
Mr Barber continued: ‘The minimum wage has already helped hundreds of thousands of families without causing significant job losses and its success has shown that – despite much scare-mongering from some employers – sensible labour market regulation is good for business.
‘If we are to win the fight against poverty pay, protect young people against exploitation and help stimulate demand in the economy the LPC must be bolder next year.’