The government has announced the new National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates that will take effect on 1 October.
The following rates will come into effect on 1 October 2013:
- the adult rate will increase by 12p to £6.31 an hour
- the rate for 18-20 year olds will increase by 5p to £5.03 an hour
- the rate for 16-17 year olds will increase by 4p to £3.72 an hour
- the apprentice rate will increase by 3p to £2.68 an hour
- the accommodation offset increases from the current £4.82 to £4.91
Announcing the new rates on 15 April, the government said it had accepted the Independent Low Pay Commission’s (LPC) recommendations for adult and youth NMW rates but had decided that apprentice rates should be increased, rather than frozen, as recommended by the LPC.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “There is worrying evidence that a significant number of employers are not paying apprentices the relevant minimum wage rate.
“Apprenticeships are at the heart of our goal to support a stronger economy, and so it is important to continue to make them attractive to young people. Therefore, I am not taking forward the LPC’s recommendation to freeze the apprenticeship rate due to non-compliance, but instead am raising it in line with the youth rates. We are working on a series of tough new measures to ensure we tackle non-compliance issues across the board.
Meanwhile, two telecommunication companies have been ordered to pay wage arrears of almost £100,000 to 197 of their call centre telesales workers.
The companies claimed that the employees were apprentices but a Hull employment tribunal ruled that they were entitled to a higher rate of NMW.
The ruling, issued on 26 March, ordered Axis Telecom Ltd to repay £21,224.53 in arrears to 14 workers, and Servizon Ltd to repay arrears of £75,117.28 to 183 workers. In addition, a penalty of £5,000 per company was also imposed.