The national minimum wage (NMW) for adults will increase by 20p to £6.70 on 1 October 2015, the government has announced.
This represents the largest real-terms increase in the NMW in 8 years.
The apprentice rate will also see a record increase of 57 pence to £3.30. The government has rejected the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission, which argued that the rate should rise by 8 pence to £2.80.
Business Secretary Vince Cable has also announced the launch of a new online tool that will enable businesses and individuals to compare wage rates across sectors, regions and occupations.
NMW rates from 1 October 2015:
- the adult rate will rise 3% to £6.70
- the apprentice rate will rise from £2.73 to £3.30
- the rate for 18-20 year-olds will rise from £5.13 to £5.30
- the rate for 16-17 year-olds will rise from £3.79 to £3.87.
John Allan, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said:
“The increase of 3% strikes a fair balance between what employers can afford and reflecting the UK’s improving economic climate.
“The move to significantly increase the apprenticeship rate will have to be monitored closely. Narrowing the gap between the apprenticeship and youth rate should take place gradually and given the extra costs faced by employers due to changes to apprenticeship funding, many employers would have preferred to see a rate more in line with the LPC’s recommendation.”