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New National Minimum Wage from 1 October 2011

Its been widely reported in the press this week that many workers in Scotland, and throughout the UK, are routinely being exploited by Employers who are refusing to pay the minimum wage.

53% of Citizen Advice Scotland’s advisers have reportedly said non-payment of the national minimum pay rates is a “very” or “fairly” significant problem in their area.

Are workers really being exploited, or is the fact that the national minimum wage changes frequently, and that it comprises multiple levels based on the status or age of the worker the actual cause of the confusion for Employers and therefore the real reason why some workers aren't being paid correctly?

Whatever the reason, workers are entitled to the National Minimum Wage even if they have signed a contract agreeing to be paid at a lower rate, regardless of whether they signed of their own free will or not, and any such contract will have no legal effect so Employers need to make sure they comply and pay workers correctly.

So to prevent problems and protect your business you will find below a detailed breakdown of the new National Minimum Wage rates which come into effect from 1 October 2011:

  • the main rate for workers aged 21 and over will increase to £6.08
  • the 18-20 rate will increase to £4.98
  • the 16-17 rate for workers above school leaving age but under 18 will increase to £3.68 
  • the apprentice rate, for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship will increase to £2.60

If you currently employ staff who are working for the current National Minimum Wage, or if you you plan on employing staff from 1 October 2011, be sure to make the necessary adjustments to your current minimum wage rates to avoid falling foul of UK employment laws and risk facing an Employment Tribunal Claim.

Adherence with the National Minimum Wage legislation is just one of the many areas Employers need to ensure they are compliant with when it comes to UK Employment Law.

How compliant is your business?  Why not take our FREE HR Health Check today and find out?

If you have any concerns about compliance with UK Employment Law and would like to speak with someone who can help, call us today on 0141 314 3947 or request a FREE Quote via our website.

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