Minimum wage changes: The need to knows for retailers

In last week’s budget the Government outlined changes to the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates for 2018/2019.

Effective as of April 2018, the rises outlined by the Chancellor will see the Living Wage rate rise to £7.83 an hour (+4.4%) and the Minimum Wage for those aged 21 to 24 rise to £7.38 (+4.7%).

Though the Living Wage comes in at a lower rate than the Low Pay Commission’s prediction of £7.90, the Chancellor indicated that he remains hopeful of the Living Wage reaching 60% of median earnings by 2020.

The 2018/2019 rates are now:

Wage Rate
Current rate
Rate from 1st April 2018
% increase
National Living Wage (aged 25+)  £7.50  £7.83  4.4%
National Minimum Wage (aged 21-24)  £7.05  £7.38  4.7%
Youth Development Rate (aged 18 – 20)  £5.60  £5.90  5.4%
16-17 Year Old Rate  £4.05  £4.20  3.7%
Apprenticeship Rate  £3.50  £3.70  5.7%

As pointed out by the ACT, research on wage rises hasn’t always had the desired affect with small businesses, with as many as 78% forced to reduce working hours, according to a survey of Association of Convenience Stores members. This has in turn led to business owners working more hours in the business themselves to make up the shortfall, as well as putting investment plans on hold.

According to the ACS, as many as 75% of convenience retailers would prefer to see a freeze of the National Living Wage for next year.