Press release

Over 2 million of the UK’s workers set for a pay rise on 1 April 2017

Around 1.7 million workers aged 25 years and over will see their hourly wage rise due to the increase in the National Living Wage.

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  • More than 2 million of the UK’s lowest paid workers to benefit from a pay rise
  • Full-time workers (38 hours) aged 25 years and over on the National Living Wage will see a pay rise of just under £600 per year
  • Those aged 24 years and under on the National Minimum Wage receive their second pay rise in 6 months
  • Workers are urged to check their pay is updated to reflect new rates.

Around 1.7 million workers aged 25 years and over will see their hourly wage rise by up to 30p to £7.50 today (1 April 2017) due to the government’s increase in the National Living Wage.

For many workers that means an inflation-busting 4.2% pay rise or just under £600 (38 hour week) extra a year.

Around 200,000 workers aged 21 to 24 years old will also see their pay increase to £7.05 an hour – the second increase in the National Minimum Wage in 6 months.

Business Minister Margot James said:

The government is committed to creating an economy that works for everyone and today’s rate rises are great news for some of the UK’s lowest paid workers. More than 2 million workers will receive an above inflation step up in pay, with some set for a £600-a-year pay rise.

Every worker in the UK is entitled to at least the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage and we are determined that they get it.

From today, my clear message to everyone is to check your pay, talk to your boss and report underpayment to Acas.

The pay rise comes after the government launched its £1.7 million National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage awareness campaign to ensure the UK’s lowest paid workers check they are being paid the correct rates. Recent government polling showed that only 1 in 7 (13%) people earning under £15,000 check their pay less than every 2 months - if ever. The advertising campaign encourages workers to visit the campaign website www.gov.uk/checkyourpay to find out more.

Employers have a duty to be aware of and comply with the different legal National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates. If workers are concerned they are not being paid the correct rates or if employers need more information about the legal requirements then they can seek advice from Acas.

For more information on the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage and to report underpayment, visit www.gov.uk/checkyourpay or contact Acas for free and impartial advice.

Notes to editors:

  1. From 1 April 2017 the rates for:
    • workers aged 25 years and over will be £7.50 per hour
    • 21 to 24 year olds will be £7.05 per hour
    • 18 to 20 year olds will be £5.60 per hour
    • 16 to 17 year old will be £4.05 per hours
    • apprentices will be £3.50 per hour
  2. The new rates were recommended by the independent Low Pay Commission after careful consideration of evidence from both workers and employers.
  3. The government is committed to ensuring all employers are compliant with minimum wage legislation and the effective enforcement of it:
    • over the next year the government will spend a record £25.3 million on minimum wage enforcement
    • in January 2017, the government appointed Sir David Metcalf as the first ever Director of Labour Market Enforcement to oversee a crackdown on workplace exploitation
    • in November 2016, labour market enforcement undertakings and orders came into force under the Immigration Act which can ultimately lead to criminal prosecutions and prison sentences of up to 2 years for employers who mistreat their workers, including National Minimum Wage violations
    • since the naming and shaming scheme was introduced in October 2013, more than £4.5 million has been recovered for some of the UK’s lowest paid workers
  4. Workers should not only check that they get their increase in pay, but government investigations into underpayment have found a number of common reasons why people end up being underpaid. These include bosses taking workers’ pay under the national minimum through:
    • Including tips in pay
    • not paying workers for travel between work appointments
    • not paying for time spent for example opening/closing shops
    • taking payments for uniforms
  5. Polling methodology statement: Populus interviewed a random sample of 1,435 UK adults who are currently working aged 16+ earning less than £15,000 a year from its online panel between 14 and 20 February 2017. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. Populus is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information can be found at www.populus.co.uk.
Published 1 April 2017