3 per cent increase in minimum wage recommended

By Gillian Crotty

The UK economy is now ready for an above inflation increase in the minimum wage according to the Low Pay Commission, who have recommended to the government that the minimum hourly rate be increased by 3 per cent.

While there have been increases to the minimum wage since the recession a 3 per cent lift would be the first time the real value has genuinely increased when taking into account rising living costs. The recommendation was followed by a hint that larger increases would follow if the economic recovery continued at the same pace.

Adult employees earning the minimum wage currently receive £6.31 per hour, while 18 to 20-year olds receive £5.03. If the recommendation is taken up by the government the hourly rate for adults would go up to £6.50, while 18 to 20-year old employees would receive £5.18.

The proposal received a mix reception, with general secretary of the Unite Union, Len McCluskey saying it didn't go far enough when the "staggering" increase in living costs was taken into account. Dr Adam Marshall of the British Chambers of Commerce said the 3 per cent increase was "slightly higher than many employers had hoped" but that it represented "a reasonable compromise".

If you are an employer or employee in Northern Ireland requiring legal advice in respect of an employment law matter contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9296.