Minimum wage and apprentice rate could rise in 2016

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Zerbor/istock/Thinkstock
Zerbor/istock/Thinkstock

Related tags: Minimum wage

The Government is seeking the views of hospitality businesses over the possibility of raising the National Minimum Wage for apprentices and under 25’s.

From October this year the minimum wage will rise to £6.70 per hour for 21-24 year-olds and £3.30 for apprentices, but the Government has appointed the Low Pay Commission (LPC) to consult on further increases that could apply from October 2016.

The LPC has also been asked to advise on gradually raising the new National Living Wage for over 25's, which the Government hopes will reach £9 per hour by 2020.

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) is collecting information from its members on the issue before 1 September, which it will submit to the LPC.

Martin Couchman OBE, deputy chief executive of the BHA, said: “There was considerable surprise at the announcement in the Chancellor’s 8 July Budget of the introduction of the ‘National Living Wage’ as a Premium for over 25s in addition to the existing National Minimum Wage.

"The BHA has put out a call to our members to gather information on the impact of the [changing wage rates] on the hospitality and tourism industry. We will be submitting a robust evidence based response to the annual consultation of the Low Pay Commission leading to recommendations to Ministers.”

According to a survey by M&C Allegra Foodservice,​ more than 70 per cent of restaurant and pub operators believe the rise will have a negative impact on their businesses, though 60 per cent also admitted it could improve staff retention and recruitment.

Officials have advised the LPC that any changes to the adult minimum wage rate will not affect rises to the National Living Wage.

Businesses and employees can contribute their views directly via the Government website​ until 25 September.

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