Minimum wage rates rise

Paddy Lillis

Increases in national minimum wage rates take effect from today (1 April).

The National Living Wage, for over-25s, goes up from £8.21 an hour to £8.72. The National Minimum Wage rises from £7.70 to £8.20 for 21 to 24-year-olds, from £6.15 to £6.45 for 18 to 20-year-olds and from £4.35 to £4.55 for under-18s. The hourly rate for apprentices increases from £3.90 to £4.15.

Shopworkers trade union Usdaw welcomed the rises but continued to call for at least £10 hour, to recognise the essential work millions of low-paid workers are doing to help the country through the coronavirus outbreak.

Usdaw General Secretary Paddy Lillis (pictured) commented: “Any increase in minimum wage rates is welcome, but this uprating falls way short of the £10 per hour Usdaw called for and goes nowhere near the ‘real’ Living Wage rate, which takes account of the cost of living.

“Many workers on or near the National Minimum Wage, such as staff in retail, are finally being recognised as essential in the current crisis, so these workers at least deserve a pay rise. Usdaw continues to call for at least £10 per hour now, which is not too much for people doing essential work.

“Usdaw provided detailed evidence demonstrating the need for a £10 minimum and an end to rip-off youth rates, so our ‘Time for Better Pay’ campaign continues. While today’s uprating provides a much-needed pay boost, it is a timely reminder of the low pay many of our essential workers earn.”