According to the gov.uk website, the minimum amount per hour that most workers in the UK should be paid depends on their age and whether or not they’re apprentices. So what exactly is the Living Wage? And where do you get help if you think you are being paid less than you should be? Let’s find out.
Before we continue, it’s important to note that the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates change on 1 April every year.
What is the National Living Wage in 2021?
In 2021, the National Living Wage is £8.91 per hour. This is the minimum hourly pay every worker should get if they’re aged 23 years or over. It is based on a percentage of medium earnings.
The National Living Wage is a statutory requirement. If you qualify for the National Living Wage but think you aren’t getting what you’re entitled to, you can contact Acas for free and impartial advice to help you resolve the issue. It might be wise to use the calculator on the gov.uk website first before contacting Acas.
What is the National Minimum Wage in 2021?
In 2021, the National Minimum Wage is £8.36 for workers aged 21 or 22, £6.56 for those aged 18 to 20, £4.62 for those under 18 and £4.30 for apprentices. This is the minimum pay per hour every worker is entitled between school leaving age and 22 years old. It is based on the recommendations made by businesses and trade unions.
As with the National Living Wage, the National Minimum Wage is a statutory requirement. You may contact Acas if you’re not getting the National Minimum Wage and think you should be.
What is the Real Living Wage in 2021?
The Real Living Wage is based on the cost of living. It takes into account a basket of essential goods and services. These are everyday needs, for example, your weekly shopping or an unexpected visit to the doctor. The aim is to have a rate sufficient to give a family an acceptable standard of living.
The Real Living Wage rate for the year 2021 across the UK is £9.50. However, in London, it is £10.85 because of the higher living costs in the capital.
Contrary to the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage, the Real Living Wage is not a statutory requirement. It is entirely voluntary and paid by employers who believe their staff deserve a wage that meets their everyday needs. This means that if you aren’t receiving it, you have no right to complain.
Who sets the Real Living Wage?
The Real Living Wage is a recommended wage set by the Living Wage Foundation. It relates to those aged 18 or over. The rate changes annually in November. Businesses accredited by the foundation should start paying their employees the new rate no later than six months after it changes.
According to the livingwage.org.uk website, over 7,000 accredited employers have adopted the Real Living Wage rate. This includes two-fifths of the FTSE 100 and big household names like Google, Nationwide, Brewdog, Everton FC and Chelsea FC.
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