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UK's Low Pay Commission welcomes Government's acceptance of its 2012 report
The Low Pay Commission has this week welcomed the Government's acceptance of its recommendations on increased rates for the National Minimum Wage.
From 1st October 2012, the adult minimum wage rate will increase from £6.08 to £6.19 an hour, the Youth Development Rate will remain at £4.98 an hour and the 16 - 17 Year Old Rate will remain at £3.68 an hour. The Apprentice Rate will increase from £2.60 to £2.65 an hour.
The Chair of the Low Pay Commission, David Norgrove said:
"Our recommendations this year are, as ever, based on extensive economic evidence and take account of the prospects for the UK economy. Although the economy is forecast to grow through 2012 and 2013, the expected pace of growth is uncertain and is likely to be low. We believe our recommendations for October 2012 balance the needs of low-paid workers against the challenges facing businesses, particularly small businesses.
"The position of young people in the labour market is a cause for concern. Their employment prospects continue to suffer more than those of other workers. Our recommendations to freeze the youth rates were made reluctantly, and may help to increase the relative attractiveness of young people to employers.
"For apprentices, over the past year apprenticeship starts have increased for all age groups and we have recommended a 5p increase in the Apprentice Rate.
"Business told us that the NMW simplification they want is not change to the law, but clear and accessible advice about it. We have concerns over the quality and availability of guidance on the NMW so have recommended improvements to the guidance.
"We are very concerned over the apparent low levels of awareness of rights and obligations under the NMW and also that the policy announced last January of publicly naming wilful infringers has not been used. We would like to see the Government take actions to raise awareness, and also to make frequent use of naming policy to show that those who infringe the NMW get caught and punished."
A full list of this year's recommendations follows:
National Minimum Wage Rates
We recommend that the adult rate of the National Minimum Wage be increased by 11 pence to £6.19 an hour from 1 October 2012 (paragraph 5.83).
We recommend a Youth Development Rate of £4.98 an hour and a 16-17 Year Old Rate of £3.68 an hour from 1 October 2012 (paragraph 5.86).
We recommend that the Apprentice Rate be increased by 5 pence to £2.65 an hour from 1 October 2012 (paragraph 5.87).
We recommend that the accommodation offset be increased by 9 pence to £4.82 a day from 1 October 2012 (paragraph 5.84).
We recommend that in order to make operating the National Minimum Wage as simple as possible for all users, the Government puts in place, and maintains, effective, clear and accessible guidance on all aspects of the minimum wage particularly where there is significant evidence of ignorance or infringing practice. As a first step, the Government should undertake a review of all existing guidance (paragraph 4.54).
We recommend that the Government should not only have a process for naming infringers but should also make frequent use of it. The Government should also actively seek other publicity opportunities which will help to signal that those who infringe the National Minimum Wage get caught and punished (paragraph 4.94).
We recommend that the Government should more actively communicate both the rates themselves, and rights and obligations under the National Minimum Wage. Communication activities about the minimum wage should not be subject to the Government's marketing freeze (paragraph 4.117).
22nd March 2012