Workers in East Sussex’s Rother district will be among the top beneficiaries of the new National Living Wage (NLW), according to think-tank research.
Under the NLW, the minimum wage for employees aged 25 and over will rise to £7.20 per hour from 1 April 2016, and is expected to reach £9 per hour by 2020. While this will make little difference to the wage expenditure of many London firms, businesses in Rother will be among those most affected – in particular those in the care and hospitality sectors.
The Resolution Foundation has placed Rother tenth in a top-10 table of local authority districts whose workers stand to benefit most from the NLW’s introduction. Thirty per cent of employees in the Rother district are expected to see a pay rise – just five per cent fewer than in top-ranked Torridge in Devon, where 35 per cent of workers are set for a pay increase.
The Resolution Foundation also made the following observations:
- Around two thirds of those due a pay rise are women.
- Over 50 per cent of those set to benefit work in just three sectors: hospitality, retail and admin and support services.
- The NLW’s introduction will have a ripple effect, with pay increases further up the pay scale, as employers seek to maintain gaps between their lowest paid staff and those in higher salary bands.
The Rother district covers some 200 square miles and includes the towns of Bexhill, Battle and Rye.
Is your business accidentally paying below the minimum wage?
Since October 2013, HMRC has robustly enforced a ‘naming and shaming’ scheme, issuing heavy fines to employers that are found to be underpaying staff. However, it is possible for businesses to accidentally underpay some workers.
The employment status of staff such as apprentices, interns and directors can be uncertain. Employers must be careful not to accidentally underpay them, as they will still be liable to receive a Notice of Underpayment, and be referred for ‘naming and shaming’, along with a financial penalty.
For expert advice on this or any area of employment law contact Gaby Hardwicke Employment Law Partner Paul Maynard: