Responding to the Government’s decision to increase the National Minimum Wage by 20p, the ALMR has welcomed the measured increase and called upon Government to continue to support businesses’ investments in their staff, but sounded a note of caution over the large rise in the apprenticeship rate.
The LPC has recommended the following changes:
Adult rate: 3% increase to £6.70 per hour
Youth (18-20): 3.3% increase to £5.30 per hour
Minor (16-17): 2.2% increase to £3.87 per hour
Apprentice: 20.8% increase to £3.30 per hour
ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “We are glad that the Government has accepted most of the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations and recognised the very real pressures being placed on businesses in terms of labour costs and tightening margins, reflected by the modest increases in most rates. We are also pleased to see the importance of keeping youth rates affordable for businesses recognised, but the increase in the apprenticeship rate may be detrimental to the excellent work done in increasing training and skill levels.
“The latest ALMR employment survey shows that almost half of respondents reported an average hourly wage of £7 or more. Pubs, bars and restaurants are clearly willing to invest in their staff if the conditions are right. A little extra money in the pockets of our staff will also no doubt go some way to supporting pubs and bars across the UK.
“Keeping wages affordable is a good first step but we would also like to see increased support, particularly for adult apprentices. The rise in the apprentice rate will increase the need for fully-funded apprenticeships for 19-24 year olds and we are also calling for additional funding for over-25s to encourage those people who have not been through higher education to discover the range of careers our sector offers.”