The national minimum wage for adults is to increase by 1.8%, but rates for younger workers will be frozen at their current levels.
From 1 October, the adult minimum wage will increase from £6.08 to £6.19 an hour. The youth development rate will remain at £4.98 an hour and the rate for young people aged between 16 and 17 will remain at £3.68 an hour. The apprentice rate will increase from £2.60 to £2.65 an hour.
David Norgrove, chair of the Low Pay Commission, said: “Our recommendations to freeze the youth rates were made reluctantly, and may help to increase the relative attractiveness of young people to employers.”
Katja Hall, chief policy director at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), added: “Organisations will welcome the approach taken to this year’s national minimum wage rates.
“The moderate rise in the adult rate and the freeze in the youth rates will come as a relief to the many hard-pressed firms right across the country.
“Retailers, care homes, hospitality, and other consumer-facing organisations are experiencing particularly tough conditions, so it is good that the Low Pay Commission listened to the CBI’s advice and made sure its recommendations preserve jobs and support the fragile recovery.”
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