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    Minimum living wage confirmed to rise in 2024

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    National Living Wage (NLW) will increase to at least £11 per hour, up from £10.42, from next April – reaching two-thirds of median income, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed that the at the Conservative Party Conference earlier this week.

    This is ahead of the recommendations from the Low Pay Commission (LPC) and aligned with the Conservative Manifesto. The recommendations are expected later this month and will be followed by formal confirmation from the Government setting the different NLW rates. 

    Hunt confirmed in a speech to the conservative party conference that he would be accepting the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission – to be announced next month.

    The chancellor said that this could equate to an extra £1,000 a year for those on full-time contracts. Initially, the target was to reach 60% of national median earnings by 2020. Having achieved that, the government set a new target to hit two thirds of median earnings by 2024.

    The retail, care and hospitality sectors account for a large number of minimum-wage jobs, although they are found in many other parts of the economy too. Any employer not paying the minimum wage can be fined by the UK tax authority, HMRC.

    “The BRC is currently engaging with the LPC to help inform its remit beyond 2024. We are calling for the LPC to consider a wider range of factors such as the cost of employment, productivity, and wider economic indicators when determining the annual uprating for the NLW,” British Retail Consortium stated on Friday (6).

    In June, the Department of Business and Trade confirmed more than 200 firms had been fined nearly £7 million and told to reimburse 63,000 workers for breaches dating back over a decade.

    Companies involved include WH Smith, Marks & Spencer, Argos and Lloyds Pharmacy. WH Smith was the worst offender, having failed to pay more than £1m to more than 17,600 workers. Marks and Spencer and Argos, which is owned by Sainsbury’s, left thousands of employees out of pocket by £578,000 and £480,000 respectively.

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