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New national minimum wage rates announced

The national minimum wage for 21- to 24-year-olds is to increase to £6.95 an hour, the government has announced. 

The increase, which is based on recommendations by the Low Pay Commission and set to come into effect from October, is worth around £450 a year to workers, according to the government. The changes were originally recommended by the Low Pay Commission

The full changes that are due to come into effect are:

  • 21- to 24-year-olds: £6.95 an hour (up from £6.70)
  • 18- to 20-year-olds: £5.55 an hour (up from £5.30)
  • 16- to 17-year-olds: £4.00 an hour (up from £3.87)
  • apprentices: £3.40 an hour (up from £3.30)

“This increase will mean that for the first time the national minimum wage rate for 21- to 24-year-olds is restored to its highest level in real terms, higher than its previous peak before the financial crisis," the Cabinet Office said in a statement.

The changes are in addition to the introduction of the new ‘national living wage’ of £7.20 an hour for over-25s due to come into effect in April, rising to £9 by 2020.