337/365: The Big Money

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New minimum wage rates will apply from 1 October 2009. These show a small increase from the 2008 rates, the increases having been proposed while the rate of inflation was considerably higher than now.

The new rates and rates of increase are :

  • Full rate (age 22 and over) – new rate £5.80 per hour; old rate £5.73 per hour; increase 1.2%
  • 18 – 21 rate – new rate £4.83 per hour; old rate £4.77 per hour; increase 1.25%
  • Youth rate – new rate £3.57 per hour; old rate £3.53 per hour; increase 1.1%

More information on the minimum wage is available from the HMRC website which has a dedicated National Minimum Wage area.

HM Revenue & Customs are responsible for monitoring the National Minimum Wage. It is they who will fine you if you fail to pay the correct rates. Currently fines are 50% of the underpayment due to workers subject to a minimum £100 fine and maximum £5,000 fine.

From 1 October 2009 employers cannot use tips to make up wages to the National Minimum Wage, regardless of whether employees receive them through the payroll or in some other way.