A NORTH WALES recruiter urged businesses to be prepared for increases to the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage.
Colwyn Bay and Bangor-based Supertemps – celebrating its 40th anniversary – warned clients and companies across the country they could face “serious repercussions” if they are not compliant ahead of the changes on April 1.
The new rates are:
- The National Living Wage for ages 25 and above – up 6.2% to £8.72
- The National Minimum Wage for 21 to 24-year-olds – up 6.5% to £8.20
- For 18 to 20 year-olds – up 4.9% to £6.45
- For under-18s – up 4.6% to £4.55
- For apprentices – up 6.4% to £4.15
Sarah Ellwood, Managing Director of Supertemps and its executive, IT and engineering arm S2 Recruitment said: “Obviously there are positives and negatives to the annual increase, with some small businesses struggling to meet the higher salary benchmark.”
“For employees it means they will receive a boost, which is especially good news for those in low paid jobs. Importantly, from an administrative perspective it is vital firms and their payroll departments ensure staff are accurately recompensed from April 1, as there are serious repercussions for those who fail to comply and even unintentional errors could result in claims for unlawful deduction of wages.”
She added: “If you’re unsure about the new legislation and how the changes will affect you then please get in touch. We are communicating with our clients and candidates but are on hand to support or signpost anyone unsure of how to move forward on this.”
“There is also the Gov.uk website for more information, and I would encourage people to address the issue as soon as possible and not leave it until the last minute.”
Elsewhere, the response to the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage increases has been mixed.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Director of External Affairs and Advocacy, Craig Beaumont, said: “Four in 10 small employers say they will raise prices in response to a National Living Wage increase of this magnitude. One in four say they will recruit fewer workers, one in five will cancel investment plans, and one in 10 will consider redundancies.”
“Wage increases aren’t much good to workers if prices rise, jobs are lost and there’s no impact on productivity because employers are forced to cut back on investing in tech, training and equipment.”
Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, added: “While it’s the right thing to do and many workers will feel the benefit, some firms will find this rise challenging in the face of tough economic conditions.”
The British Independent Retailers Association was also critical, with CEO Andrew Goodacre saying it would hit the high street hard this year.
However, TUC (Trades Union Congress) Leader Frances O’Grady believes the rise is a positive for low-paid workers: “This is a long-planned raise, but it’s also long overdue,” she said. “Workers are still not getting a fair share of the wealth they create. And in-work poverty is soaring as millions of families struggle to make ends meet.”