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National Minimum Wage Changes

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Newsletter issue - October 2010.

In the current recession you may have been forced to freeze or even reduce wages. If your workers are low paid you must be careful that you continue to pay at least the national minimum wage rate (NMW).

The hourly NMW rates increased on 1 October 2010 and now apply to workers in the following age bands:

21 and over: £5.93
18-20: £4.92
16 and 17: £3.64
Apprentice rate: £2.50

The apprentice rate applies to apprentices aged under 19, or those aged 19 or more in the first year of their apprenticeship.

The Taxman can impose penalties of up to £5,000 if you do not pay the statutory NMW rate, and you may even be tried in the Crown Court for non-compliance with the NMW rate regulations, leading to an unlimited fine. You must also pay any arrears of wages owed (for the previous 6 years), based on the current NMW rate, not the rate in force when your employee was underpaid.