Minimum Wage Increase Confirmed – Disappointing the Low Pay Commission
Increases to the National Minimum Wage, due from the commencement of the first pay reference period after 1st October 2015 , have been confirmed today. As expected, the government accepted most of the recommended rates, but for the Apprentice Rate the government announced an increase of more than 20% – a decision described as “disappointing” by the Commission.
Although apprentices will welcome the increased rate – to £3.30 an hour, a 57p increase – David Norgrove, Chair of the Low Pay Commission doesn’t feel the same way. In response to the government’s decision, he said:
“While we welcome the government’s response on the headline rates we are disappointed that it has not accepted our recommendation on the level of the Apprentice Rate. We based our judgement on a careful assessment of the evidence, seeking to benefit apprentices while also protecting the supply of places”.
The reason for rejecting the recommendation on the Apprentice Rate, instead announcing the highest ever increase for this, is argued to be because the government intends that apprenticeships will deliver a wage that is comparable to other choices for work.