The Low Pay Commission has recommended an increase to the minimum wage of 7p, taking the hourly rate from £5.73 to £5.80. This has been accepted by the government and will be applicable from October 2009.

The rates for 18-21 year olds will also increase from £4.77 per hour to £4.83 and 16 to 17 year olds will see an increase to £3.57 from £3.53. The government have also declared that from October 2010, the adult minimum wage rate will include 21 year olds.

The Low Pay Commission was given extra time to make their recommendations, which were originally due in May, to allow them to take the recent economic circumstances into account.

Another recommendation of the LPC was that information about employers who flout the minimum wage laws should be made readily available. The government will examine the practicalities of such a scheme.

Chairman of the LPC, George Bain, commented, “These are very challenging times for the UK and unprecedented economic circumstances for the minimum wage. We believe that Low Pay Commission’s recommendations are appropriate for this economic climate. They reflect the need to protect low paid workers’ jobs as well as their earnings.”

Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson agreed, “The Low Pay Commission has carefully examined the latest economic data before making their recommendations on the minimum wage rate, balancing the needs of workers and businesses in the current economic climate.” He added, “The government agrees with this assessment and has accepted the recommendations for these new rates to take effect in October.”

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