Despite the cost of living crisis causing much of the UK to struggle to make ends meet, many people are still forgoing work altogether. The number of people who aren’t working despite having no illness or disability could be as high as 300,000, and one of the reasons for this is the low minimum wage.
Currently, the national minimum wage stands at:
- Age 23 or over: £10.42
- Age 21 to 22: £10.18
- Age 18 to 20: £7.49
- Under 18: £5.28
- Apprentice: £5.28
Unfortunately, this fails to meet the actual living wage by quite a margin. The actual living wage, which is a calculation made according to the cost of living based on a basket of household goods and services, currently stands at £12 (outside of London), which is a massive difference from £10.42 for those 23 and over. It’s a difference of nearly 15%. To put it another way, an average worker earning minimum wage takes home £21,673 a year. If they were paid the living wage, they would be making £24,960, over £3,000 more.
Looking to boost productivity and encourage people back to work, the UK government recently announced that the national minimum wage will increase to £11.44 an hour from April 2024, during this week’s Autumn Statement. This is the highest rate the minimum wage has ever been, and it will represent a significant boost for lower-paid workers.
Over 2 million workers are expected to benefit from the new rate. This includes workers in a wide range of sectors, such as hospitality, retail, and social care. The proposed increase is particularly good news for workers in the lowest-paid sectors. For example, the average wage for a hospitality worker is currently £10.42 an hour. The new rate will represent a significant increase for these workers, and it will go some way to help to improve living standards against a backdrop of higher inflation.
You might have already spotted the problem though. Although the new minimum wage will be a big help, it’s still a way off the national living wage of £12 per hour. We will have to wait and see to find out how successful the new minimum wage is in raising the standard of living and bringing those who are unemployed back to work.
While the national minimum wage will be increasing next year, there’s never been a better time to look for a better-paying job. Here at Plus One, we have provided high quality recruitment services to jobseekers across Oxfordshire and Warwickshire since 2005, and we’re passionate about finding you the right fit in the Sales, Procurement and Supply Chain, Marketing and Creative, Accountancy and Finance, and Business Support sectors.
Register with Plus One today to search for current roles and let our team of experts help you with expert guidance.