The UK’s minimum wage has increased today, and is estimated to benefit more than 2 million workers in the UK.
For the first time, the minimum wage is being extended to include 23 and 24-year-olds, not just those aged 25 and over.
From 1st April 2021, the minimum wage levels are as follows:
- £8.91 an hour for workers over the age of 23
- £8.36 for those aged 21-22
- £6.56 for 18 to 20-year-olds
- £4.62 for under-18s
- £4.30 for apprentices
The National Living Wage has increased by 2.2% to £8.91. This will equate to more than £345 more a year for a full-time worker.
The voluntary Real Living Wage has also risen to £10.85 an hour in London and £9.50 outside the capital.
Furloughed workers excluded
The increased wage levels will not apply to workers who are on furlough.
While lower paid workers in sectors such as retail, hospitality, cleaning and maintenance would be expected to benefit from the higher wage levels, lockdown measures and the closure of much of the UK’s retail and hospitality industries mean many of the lowest-paid workers are on furlough and will miss out on a pay rise.
They will continue to get 80% of their usual income, based on pre-pandemic rates for the minimum wage.
The government said furloughed workers who returned to work after 1st April would move on to the new minimum wage rates for hours worked.