Minimum wage increases welcome - workers need to check they're paid the new rate or above

Date: 31 March 2017 The shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw welcomes tomorrow’s increases in the National Minimum Wage and the Government’s so-called ‘National Living Wage’. The union urges low-paid workers to check their pay packets and ensure they are paid at least the legal minimum rate.
The new rates that come into force on 1 April 2017 are:
£7.50 National Living Wage for 25 year old and over.
£7.05 for 21 to 24 year olds.
£5.60 for 18 to 20 year olds.
£4.05 for 16 and 17 year olds.
£3.50 for apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those in their first year aged 19 or over.

John Hannett - Usdaw General Secretary says: “We welcome this pay rise for the millions of low-paid workers who rely on the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage. The minimum wage is a basic rate and employers should be seeking to pay higher rates than this. In the companies where Usdaw negotiates wages, we are encouraging employers to work towards and beyond the Living Wage Foundation rate of £8.45 per hour or £9.75 in London.

“Employers need to be vigilant and review their working practices to ensure that their staff are paid at least the minimum rate for the time they are in work. Failure to comply can result in hefty fines, repaying staff the money owed and being named and shamed by the Government.”

Examples of working practices that could lead to a failure to comply with minimum pay rates:
  • Requiring staff to undergo security checks, briefing meetings or other mandatory activities outside of paid hours.
  • Failing to account for salary sacrifice schemes.
  • Rounding up docked pay for lateness.
  • Requiring staff to pay for uniform, including clothing from the store they work at.
  • Including allowances like London weighting, shift pay, unsocial hours payments and overtime premium payments.
Notes for editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest trade union with nearly 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

The Living Wage Foundation sets the only the real Living Wage, which is independently calculated each year based on what employees and their families need to live. The current UK Living Wage is £8.45 an hour and £9.75 an hour in London. The real Living Wage is voluntary and enjoys cross-party support, with public backing from successive London Mayors and MPs across the four nations of the UK. The Government’s so-called ‘National Living Wage’ is based on a percentage of average earnings and not calculated according to what employees and their families need to live.

For Usdaw press releases visit: and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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