Britain to raise minimum wage rates from October


Britain to raise minimum wage rates from October

Britain to raise minimum wage rates from October

Monday, March 19, 2012
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Cable announced the new rates in a statement.

LONDON: Britain's government on Monday said it was raising national minimum wage rates so workers aged 21 or over were legally entitled to earn at least £6.19 an hour from October.


Ahead of the country's annual budget on Wednesday, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition said it had accepted the independent Low Pay Commission's recommendations on hikes to national minimum wage rates.


"I believe that the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission strike the right balance between pay and jobs, and have therefore accepted all the rate recommendations," Business Secretary Vince Cable said in a statement.


The adult rate, or the minimum wage for public and private sector workers in Britain aged 21 or over, will increase by 11 pence, or 1.8 per cent to £6.19 an hour.


The rate for 18-20 year olds will remain at £4.98 an hour, the rate for 16-17 year olds will remain at £3.68 an hour but the rate for apprentices will increase by 5.0 pence, or 1.92 per cent, to £2.65 an hour.


"In these tough times freezing the youth rates has been a very hard decision -- but raising the youth rates would have been of little value to young people if it meant it was harder for them to get a job in the long run," Cable added.


Official data last week showed that the number of jobless people in Britain edged closer to 2.67 million people in the three months to January, while the unemployment rate hit the highest level for almost 17 years.


The number of unemployed people aged 18-24 rose by 16,000 to 1.04 million over the same period. That pushed the youth unemployment rate up to a record 22.5 per cent -- which was the highest since comparable records began in 1992.