National living wage
From Monday 1st October 2012, the national minimum wage rates had their annual review.
Not much changed this year:
- Workers aged 21 and over will now receive a minimum of £6.19 per hour, an increase from £6.08.
- Those in the 16-17 and the 18-20 age range had their rates frozen at £3.68 and £4.98 respectively.
- Good news for apprentices, regardless of their age (as we know that apprentices aren’t just for young people) rates increased to £2.65, a whopping 5p increase.
As we have said in our newsletter ‘People Matter’ the minimum wage for an apprentice is verging on slave labour. These days, whilst apprentices get the benefit of on the job training and learning, many do the same or very similar work to fully paid, permanent employees.
Something that is rarely openly discussed, but often thought about is a national ‘living’ wage. We’ve all seen milk and bread prices soar whilst wages remain pretty stagnant. The Living Wage Foundation in London independently sets a ‘living wage’ for workers to be able to live and work free from poverty. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation which also campaigns for a fair minimum income released its 2012 report earlier this year. It stated that a single person in the UK needs to earn at least £16,400 a year before tax to afford a minimum acceptable standard of living and two parents need to earn at least £18,400 each to support themselves and two children. Now you may be thinking ‘what constitutes a minimum acceptable standard of living?’ The foundation covers this in an annual review, which apparently hasn’t altered much since the original study in 2008.
So what do you think about a national living wage? Could a living wage rather than a minimum wage see a decrease in absenteeism and reduced turnover? Leave a comment or contact us.