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Minimum wage rises to £5.73

The National Minimum Wage will rise from £5.52 to £5.73 for over 21 year olds from October 2008.

The minimum wage will rise from £4.60 to £4.77 for 18 to 21 year olds and from £3.40 to £3.53 for 16 to 17 year olds.

The hike, which has been implemented by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, will affect a huge number of retail workers and will heap pressure on both multiple and independent retailers already struggling with rising costs against a backdrop of slowing consumer spending.

Retail union Usdaw welcomed the rises. General secretary John Hannett said: It will increase the quality of life for many of our members, the majority of whom are women."

"However, we are disappointed that the Low Pay Commission's recommendation to lower the age for the adult rate of the National Minimum Wage from 21 has been rejected. Usdaw will continue to campaign for the adult rate to be paid at 18. We will also keep campaigning for a significant increase for 16 and 17 year olds, to make sure they are not exploited at work."

The last minimum wage rose in October 2007.

Readers' comments (1)

  • I agree everyone needs a better wage, but small businesses should get some assistance from the government with regards to staffing costs rising. Its crippling my business as I never want to just pay the minimum wage, but its causing me to cut back on staffing levels at certain times of the week, so really staff are not benefitting. I end up using the younger staff who I pay less, to do more hours doing the other jobs that I cannot justify paying my £9.00 an hour sales staff to do - ie stockroom, pricing etc. As a worker, I applaud a minimum wage, as a very financially stretched employer - its making me choose not to give older staff overtime so who wins? The government!!!

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