Press release

Be prepared to pay new National Living Wage, UK Government urges Britain’s bosses

Firms advised to take simple steps now as poll reveals 93% of bosses support initiative, with majority believing it will boost productivity and retain staff.

Britain’s bosses are urged to take 4 simple steps to be better prepared for the introduction of next year’s (2016) new National Living Wage (NLW), on the day that the statutory instrument is laid to write it into law.

Businesses are being advised to prepare early for the changes on 1 April 2016, when the new wage will become law, and make sure they follow these 4 simple steps:

  • know the correct rate of pay - £7.20 per hour for staff aged 25 and over
  • find out which staff are eligible for the new rate
  • update the company payroll in time for 1 April 2016
  • communicate the changes to staff as soon as possible

Employers can find out more by visiting

The advice coincides with a new poll which revealed 93% of bosses agree the new wage is a good idea, with 88% believing it will lead to higher productivity and 83% saying it will make staff more loyal to their firm.

Business Minister Nick Boles said:

The government’s new National Living Wage will provide a direct boost to over two-and-a-half million workers in the UK – rewarding and providing security for working people.

I am urging businesses to get ready now to pay the new £7.20 rate from 1 April 2016. With just under 4 months left, there are some easy steps employers can take to make sure they are ready.

By taking these measures, companies will be able to properly reward their staff and avoid falling foul of the law when it takes effect.

Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb said:

Next year we will introduce the National Living Wage which will give 150,000 people in Wales a pay rise by 2020.

I want businesses in Wales to be ready for the new £7.20 rate that comes in on 1 April 2016 and avoid the penalties that are in place for employers who fail to pay.

Making work pay and ensuring people who work hard get the salary they deserve is a top priority for the UK Government. The National Living Wage takes us a step closer to becoming a higher wage, lower tax and lower welfare society.

The new survey conducted for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) asked 1,000 employers across Britain about the NLW. When asked if they thought the new rate would be good for businesses, many respondents identified a range of positive impacts:

  • 93% of all bosses agreed the National Living Wage was a good idea
  • 88% said it would make staff more productive
  • 83% believed it would make staff more loyal towards their employer
  • 86% said it would boost staff morale
  • 82% believed customers were likely to return if the business paid the right rates of pay

Despite the popular support for the measure, the poll also revealed that many firms were yet to take key steps to be prepared:

  • only around 45% had updated payroll to take account of staff aged 25 and over on 1 April 2016
  • just 39% had communicated the upcoming changes to staff
  • only 29% had looked online for more information about National Living Wage entitlement

This comes despite 63% of bosses saying they knew who in their business should be getting the new National Living Wage.

The new National Living Wage is a key part of the government’s plan to continue to move to a higher wage, lower tax and lower welfare society, building a more productive Britain and giving families the security of well-paid work.

Notes to Editors

The survey of 1,000 employers across the UK was carried out for BIS by Censuswide in November 2015.

The new National Living Wage follows recent rises in the National Minimum Wage rates to:

  • £6.70 for 21-year-olds and over
  • £5.30 for 18 to 20-year-olds
  • £3.87 for under 18-year-olds
  • £3.30 for apprentices (this rate applies to all apprentices in year 1 of an apprenticeship, and 16 to 18 year old apprentices in any year of an apprenticeship)

The National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage are designed to protect low income workers and provide an incentive to work by ensuring that all workers benefit from as generous a wage as possible.

The wage also helps business by ensuring that rates are affordable and that competition is based on the quality of goods and services provided and not on low prices based on low rates of pay.

For exceptions to the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage please visit: The National Minimum Wage: Who gets the minimum wage.