Employment Law Solicitors: The New NMW

I found this article relating to Employment Law which I thought may be of interest. So here it is for you

The UK’s national minimum wage (NMW) is set to increase from the beginning of October this year, with employment law solicitors warning companies to make sure they are prepared. The changes will affect many thousands of the UK’s youngest and lowest paid workers as well as the companies they work for. After recent revelations in the press that interns have been illegally exploited by their ’employers,’ the overriding advice is to be prepared now to prevent potentially costly employment tribunal claims in the future which could see companies paying back dated pay as well as compensation.

Both employment law solicitors and workers’ rights groups have been happy to see the new, higher levels of pay which they claim will make life fairer and more affordable for thousands of workers in the United Kingdom. One facet of the legislation which has been widely welcomed is the reduction from 22 to 21 of the qualifiying age for the highest level of pay. This entitles those aged 21 and over to earn £5.93 per hour. Employees aged 18 to 20 must earn at least ٢.92. Also, 16 and 17 year olds who have left full time compulsory education can expect to earn ١.64 an hour. Obviously, there are some exceptions to the legislation. One of the main things that employment law solicitors want people to realise is that interns are entitled to be paid the NMW.

Amongst the changes to the legislation is the introduction for the first time of a minimum wage for apprentices. Those under 19 must earn £2.50 an hour. This rate also applies to older apprentices who are in their first year of training.

According to employment law solicitors, trainees and interns must also be paid the minimum wage. Indeed, the minimum wage applies to almost all UK workers who are older than compulsory school leaving age. This is regardless of how often they are paid or by what means. The legislation applied to both full and part time workers.

The advice from employment law solicitors is that the only people who are not entitled to the NMW are self-employed, students on work experience lasting less than a year, prisoners, members of the armed forces and people taking part in certain government work experience schemes. It is absolutely vital, say employment law solicitors, that companies are prepared for the changes in order to prevent themselves from falling victim to costly legal challenges.

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