New National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates have been announced by the government, after it accepted recommendations from the independent Low Pay Commission (LPC).
Effective from 1 October 2012, the adult rate (21 years old and over) will increase by 11p to £6.19 an hour. The rates for apprentices have also increased, by 5p, to £2.65 an hour.
Eighteen to 20-year-olds will remain at £4.98 an hour, and 16- to 17-year-olds will remain at £3.68 an hour.
Vince Cable, business secretary, said: “I believe that the recommendations of the LPC strike the right balance between pay and jobs, and have therefore accepted all the rate recommendations. The LPC has done a good job in difficult circumstances.
“In these tough times, freezing the youth rates has been a very hard decision – but raising the youth rates would have been of little value to young people if it meant it was harder for them to get a job in the long run.”