Suffolk workers to get £345 pay rise

The minimum wage has been increased benefiting millions of workers across the UK.

The minimum wage has been increased benefiting millions of workers across the UK. - Credit: PA

Workers checking their pay packets this month could be in for a “well-earned” pay rise from today, as the government increases the minimum wage. 

From April 1 the National Living Wage rises by 2.2% to £8.91, the equivalent of more than £345 a year for a full-time employee, and will be given to 23 and 24-year-olds for the first time.

The Living Wage Foundation said workers paid the voluntary so-called Real Living Wage will receive £1,150 more over the coming year, and £3,800 in London, compared with those on the statutory rate.

Ministers said the increase means a full-time worker on the National Living Wage will be taking home £5,400 more annually than they were in 2010, and it will particularly benefit workers in sectors such as retail, hospitality and cleaning and maintenance.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “The National Minimum and Living Wages have increased every year since they were introduced, supporting the lowest paid, and despite the challenges we’ve faced recently, this year will be no different.

“That’s why we’re providing a well-earned pay rise to two million people, which will be a welcome boost to families right across the UK.

“To make sure the next generation isn’t left behind, everyone over 23 years old will also now be eligible.”

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak added: “We know that the past year has been very difficult for businesses and families across the country. This pay rise will help support employees as we steadily reopen the economy and get more people back to work.”

The increases are £8.72 to £8.91 an hour for workers over the age of 23; from £8.20 to £8.36 for those aged 21-22; from £6.45 to £6.56 for 18 to 20-year-olds; from £4.55 to £4.62 for under-18s; and £4.15 to £4.30 for apprentices.

Around 2 million people across the UK will benefit from these changes.

Laura Gardiner, director of the Living Wage Foundation, which sets the voluntary Real Living Wage rates – currently £10.85 an hour in London and £9.50 outside the capital – said: “The introduction of the National Living Wage has delivered a solid pay rise to minimum wage workers, and it’s welcome to see the government continuing to commit to ambitious increases.

“However, there is still a substantial gap between this wage rate and one based on the cost of living, with National Living Wage workers falling billions of pounds short of a real Living Wage over the past five years.

“The number of employers signing up to the Real Living Wage has continued to grow, even during the pandemic, as businesses recognise the benefits of a healthy and motivated workforce.”