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National Living Wage

Does the national living wage affect me?

Q:  There has been a lot in the press recently about the National Living Wage. I employ a number of staff in my pub who are over the age of 25 and I am wondering how this will impact on my business?

A:The National Living Wage (NLW) comes into effect from 1st April 2016 and means that you will have to pay any member of staff aged 25 years or older £7.20 per hour. 

The new regulations do not only impact on the rate of pay for the over 25’s as the age brackets for the National Minimum Wage (NMW) will change (although the rates of pay will not). The new age brackets for NMW from 1st April 2016 are: 

(1)  21-24 – £6.70 per hour; 
(2)  18-20 – £5.30 per hour;  
(3)  18 or under – £3.87 per hour;
and different rules apply to apprentices.  

Whilst these are the current rates payable you should keep an eye out for changes to both the NLW and the NMW. The intention is that the NLW will exceed £9.00 by 2020 and normally the NMW is increased in October each year (the above rates have been in force since October 2015).  If you as an employer do not comply then you could face a fine of up to £20,000 per employee and potentially have to pay them 200% of the arrears owed.  You should therefore ensure that you have put in place the required measures so that the changes are reflected in your employees’ April pay packets.

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