Monday, 23 March 2015
Rise in minimal wage for carers
Many care workers working in care homes and for home care agencies are paid the National Minimum Wage, so news that it is increasing by 20p will be very welcome.
The adult rate for the National Minimum Wage (NMW) will rise by 20p, from £6.50 to £6.70 per hour, from Thursday 1 October 2015, as recommended by the Low Pay Commission (LPC) in March this year.
The Government rejected the LPC’s recommendation for the apprentice rate. The new apprenticeship rate will be set at £3.30 and represents a rise of 57p, the largest ever increase in the National Minimum Wage for apprentices.
Prime Minister, David Cameron said: “At the heart of our long-term economic plan for Britain is a simple idea – that those who put in, should get out, that hard work is really rewarded, that the benefits of recovery are truly national.
More financial security
“It will mean more financial security for Britain’s families and a better future for our country.”
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg added: “This is just one of the many ways in which we’ve created a fairer society whilst building a stronger economy. If you work hard, this Government is behind you all the way.”
“Whether you’re on low pay or starting your dream career through an apprenticeship, you will get more support to help you go further and faster.”
UNISON's general secretary, Dave Prentis, welcomed the increase but said he would have liked to have seen a bigger rise.
"More than a million low-paid workers who are still finding life particularly tough will welcome the extra cash they'll be getting in their autumn pay packets. But with many families feeling like the economic recovery is passing them by, the Government should have gone for a bigger increase.”
Government needs to get tougher on employers
He added: "But any rise in the minimum wage won't help the workers whose mean bosses still insist on paying them illegal poverty wages. The Government must get tougher still with those employers – especially those in the social care sector – who seem to think they are above the law.
"Ministers should be setting out a plan now to move the national minimum wage to a living wage, so that five million low-paid workers benefit. That would be best way to show we are all in this together."
Bolder increase needed
Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, echoed his call for a higher increase, saying: “For the low paid to get a fair share of the recovery, this was a year in which we could have had a much bolder increase in the minimum wage.
“With one in five workers getting less than a living wage, this is nowhere near enough to end in-work poverty. Britain’s minimum wage workers should be very fearful of the billions of pounds of cuts to Government help for the low paid that the Chancellor is planning if re-elected.
“Apprentices will welcome the increase to their minimum wage, which will reduce the shortfall in their minimum pay relative to 16 and 17 year-old employees. But there really shouldn’t be a gap at all. The TUC will continue to call on the Low Pay Commission to recommend a future increase that will match the apprentice rate to that for 16 and 17 year-olds.”
From 1 October 2015:
• the adult rate will increase by 20 pence to £6.70 per hour
• the rate for 18 to 20 year olds will increase by 17 pence to £5.30 per hour
• the rate for 16 to 17 year olds will increase by 8 pence to £3.87 per hour
• the apprentice rate will increase by 57 pence to £3.30 per hour
• the accommodation offset increases from the current £5.08 to £5.35
This is the largest real-terms increase in the National Minimum Wage since 2007, and more than 1.4 million of Britain’s lowest-paid workers are set to benefit.