For those employers who engage employees and workers on the minimum wage, some changes could be on the horizon. The current minimum wage levels are as follows:
Age 16 & 17
Age 18 to 20
Age 21 to 24
Age 25 and over
There have been a number of different pledges from the political parties recently, with the Chancellor announcing yesterday that the rate would increase to £10.50 by 2024 and that this new rate would apply to those aged 21 and over. The Shadow Chancellor pointed to a previous announcement which had pledged an increase to £10.00 in 2020 and that this would apply to under 18's too.
Whatever happens, minimum wage levels look set to increase at some point soon and if the lowering of the age threshold is implemented, this will mean many more individuals qualify for a higher rate of pay. This will obviously mean an increased labour cost for some employers.
Chancellor Sajid Javid has pledged to raise the National Living Wage to £10.50 within the next five years. He will also lower the age threshold for those who qualify from 25 to 21. Speaking to a packed hall at the Tory Party Conference, Mr Javid said the policy would "help the next generation of go-getters to get ahead". The current rate for over 25s is £8.21 - but the Living Wage Foundation says it should already be £9 across the UK and £10.55 for those in London. Earlier this year, Labour pledged to raise the National Living Wage to £10 an hour in 2020 and to include all workers under 18 - who currently get a minimum wage of £4.35. Labour's shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, called Mr Javid's announcement a "pathetic attempt at catch-up".