If there’s one thing we could all do with a few months after Christmas, it’s a pay rise – and that’s exactly what’s about to happen for a lot of young people in the new year.
For those who work in minimum wage jobs – be it in retail, apprenticeships or any other industry – changes to rates in 2018 will actually have a positive impact. The Low Pay Commission, which proposes increases in minimum wage bands, has had its recommendations for 2018 accepted, meaning many will be earning more from April next year.
The National Living Wage is set to increase by 4.4 per cent, rising from £7.50 to £7.83, which applies to workers aged 25 and over. If you’re aged 21-24, you’ll earn 32p more per hour, while those aged 18-20 will earn 5.4 per cent more. People in apprenticeships will see the biggest rise in their pay packet, getting an increase of 5.7 per cent.
Overall, the plans will increase pay for people earning minimum wage working an average 30 hours per week by around £500 a year.
The Low Pay Commission stated that this is the “largest increase in the main rate of the minimum wage since 2006” and that “this is good news for the millions of low paid workers who are paid at the minimum rates”.
With the number of workers earning minimum wage expected to nearly double by 2020, making up 10 per cent of the whole UK workforce, these increases are more important that ever. If future projections are to be believed, National Living Wage could increase to around £8.20 per hour by 2019, and £8.57 by 2020.
However, 2018’s increase still doesn’t match up with the ‘real living wage’ recommended by the Living Wage Foundation, which suggests the minimum wage should be set at £8.75 per hour for most of the UK and £10.20 per hour for those within London. This takes into account the actual cost of living across the country, and is a voluntary threshold paid by around 3,500 employers at present, including Ikea, Aviva and Nationwide.