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Living Wage Questions

Here are a few questions for you as employers of domestic staff – and they are not trick questions!

Firstly, do you know what is meant by the National Living Wage? Secondly, do you know what the figures are? Thirdly, do you know when they are going to change yet again? Fourthly, do you know the difference between the National Living Wage and the Living Wage?

Let’s answer the fourth question first and get it out of the way. The Living Wage is NOT set by government, nor is it a legal requirement to pay the figures quoted for it. It is a level set by the Living wage Foundation, which encourages employers to pay, on a voluntary basis, a figure which, say the Foundation, should be the norm.

So, the wage which concerns you legally is the National Living Wage, set by the UK government and which effectively replaces the National Minimum Wage, as a term.

Historically, the previous National Minimum Wage was updated on an annual basis, but beware, you have now been alerted!!

The new National Living Wage was introduced on 1st April this year, 2016, but now it has also announced there will be increases to its levels in October 2016. These will be as follows:

Age 21 – 24: from £6.70 to £6.95

Age 18 – 20: from £5.30 to £5.55

Age over compulsory school age – 17: from £3.87 to £4.00

Apprentice rate: from £3.30 to £3.40

However, the rates for workers over 25 years of age will not change in October.

In the past, October has always been the month in which the National Minimum Wage increases were introduced, but from 2017, this will change to April.

In effect, this means that the new October 2016 rates will only be current for some six months before being under review again. Got that?

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