National Minimum Wage decision delayed
New National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates are traditionally implemented on 1 October, following the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission (LPC).
Since its establishment in 1998, the LPC has been charged with independently advising the Government on the NMW. However, as the UK grapples with the effects of the recession, the LPC has requested more time to compile its suggestions for 2009/10.
The Commission will now report to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Business by 1 May 2009, although the delay is not expected to affect the enforcement date of 1 October for any new rates.
The decision has been postponed from February to May 2009 to allow the LPC to amass an additional two months' worth of economic data, including the Bank of England's inflation report, employee job figures for December, GDP figures for the fourth quarter of 2008, and updates on average earnings.
The current NMW for those over 21 is £5.73 per hour. For those aged 18 to 21 the rate is £4.77 per hour, while 16 and 17 year olds must be paid a minimum of £3.53 an hour.