Minimum wage up by 15p to £6.08

Bank notes The increase takes account of the current economic uncertainty

The minimum wage has gone up, with the main rate for adults aged 21 or over rising by 15p to £6.08 an hour.

The development rate - for those aged 18 to 20 - goes up by 6p to £4.98 an hour, for 16 and 17-year-olds it rises by 4p to £3.68 an hour and the hourly apprentice rate rises by 10p to £2.60.

The TUC welcomed the rise but Unison said the rates were still too low.

The minimum wage was introduced in 1999 at £3.60 an hour for adults, and is set each year by the Low Pay Commission.

New laws from 1 October

  • Default retirement age of 65 ends
  • Minimum wage increases
  • New rules for paying agency workers

The commission recommended this year's increase in a report to the government in April.

It said the increases would balance the needs of low-paid workers and their employers facing difficulties during a period of economic uncertainty.

As levels of youth unemployment are relatively high, it recommended a lower increase for young workers than for their older counterparts, to try to encourage employers to keep them on.

The TUC it estimated the increases would benefit nearly 900,000, mainly female, workers.

The general secretary of the public sector union, Unison, said £8 an hour was needed to provide a living wage.

"The rise to £6.08 is a welcome cushion, but with the price of everyday essentials such as food, gas and electricity going up massively, it won't lift enough working people out of the poverty trap," Dave Prentis said.

As a result, he called on employers to pay more than the absolute minimum.



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  • rate this

    Comment number 251.

    If anybody wants to comment on a mimimum wage rate, than it should be law that they need to read an AS-level economic textbook first. The case against a minimum wage is that simply.
    Set correctly, it can stop people from being ripped off. Set incorrectly, and the minimum wage is above what the normal market rate would be, and you get unemployment

  • rate this

    Comment number 155.

    We need a maximum wage and by this I mean that no-one in any company should be allowed more than 15x the average wage they pay out, those at the top would still get their obscene wages, but only by making sure that those at the bottom get 'fair' pay.

  • rate this

    Comment number 150.

    @147 Doozie

    The high wages given to CEOs and "bosses" is justified by the rare talents/ability of those people. Employers are willing to pay higher wages to attain that rare talent/ability, just as diamond collectors are willing to pay more for diamonds than common rocks. That's why they earn more than min wage workers. Don't be an egalitarian, because "equal wages" don't make any sense at all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 127.

    If minimum wage doesn't rise with the government's acknowledged rate of inflation, then what is the purpose of the minimum wage in the first place?

  • rate this

    Comment number 123.

    So businesses already struggling to pay wages now have to pay more, this will just increase the amount of staff layoffs, and small companies going to the wall meaning more unemployed. Its time to scrap/greatly reduce the minimum wage, this will allow more small companies to survive meaning much fewer unemployed.


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