New National Living Wage aims to improve living standards for UK’s workers

As of April 1, 2016, workers in Britain who are aged 25 or over and are working for the minimum wage of £6.70 per hour will see an increase of 50 pence an hour. According to a press release by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, the National Living Wage is part of the government’s vision of a society centred on lower welfare, higher wages and lower tax.

Since the Chancellor announced the implementation of the National Living Wage at the Summer 2015 Budget, response towards the increases to those working on lower levels of income have generally been positive.

In fact a new government employee survey on the National Living Wage revealed that almost 60 percent of the participants said they would feel greater motivation at work due to the rise in their hourly rate. Furthermore, over 70 percent of employees said the new wages legislation makes them feel more positive for themselves and their families.

It is estimated that more than a million employees in Britain will directly benefit from the new wage standards, in which the minimum wage level will rise to £7.20 per hour for the over 25s.

Many employers embrace the initiative

As well as being embraced by UK workers, the new National Living Wage is being warmly received by many employers.

A number of leading UK employers have announced plans to pay workers the new National Living Wage, including National Express, Ikea, Lidl and Morrison’s.

In fact a recent poll showed that as many as 93 percent of employers support the new wage initiative. 88 percent of the employers that participated in the poll believe it will boost staff morale and productivity, with 83 percent saying a higher hourly rate would help increase staff loyalty and consequently improve employee retention rates.

In a statement, Nick Boles the UK’s Business Minister said:

“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.”

For employers that are unsure about what is required with the new wage legislation, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has set out four simple steps, which include:

.               Being familiar of the new rate, which is £7.20 an hour for workers aged 25 and over

.               To find out what members of staff will be entitled to receiving the new rate of pay

.               The company’s payroll should be updated prior to 1 April 2016

.               Members of staff should be informed of the changes to their salary as soon as possible

More information about the UK’s new Living Wage can be found on the official Living Wage website.

If any of Solos Consultant’s candidates or clients have any questions related to the new National Living Wage, get in contact with our recruitment team and we’ll endeavour to answer your queries the best we can.

image courtesy of serge bertasius photography

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