As of yesterday, National Minimum Wage rates were changed as follows;
- adult rate (for those aged 21 and over) - £6.19 an hour (up 11p, or 1.8%)
- 18-20 year olds - £4.98 an hour (no change)
- 16-17 year olds - £3.68 an hour (no change)
- apprentice rate - £2.65 per hour (up 5p, or 1.9%)
Apprentices aged 19 or over who have completed one year of their apprenticeship are entitled to receive the national minimum wage rate applicable to their age.
I have to say that I was surprised to find that the rates were as low as they are for younger workers, and I find myself wondering how a young person, not living at home with parents, is expected to make ends meet.
Inevitably, such people will be entitled to benefits and thus, the Government is effectively subsiding their employers. Hardly an incentive to poor employers to pay a living wage, and it potentially drives salary scales down for younger employees.
Perhaps this is something that Liberal Democrat ministers should be looking at over the months to come?...