Statutory minimum rates

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) are set annually by the Government based on recommendations from the Low Pay Commission. The table below sets out current and historical rates. The NLW, which was introduced in April 2016, applies to all staff aged 25 and over, while younger (non-apprentice) staff of at least school-leaving age are covered by the appropriate NMW rate for their age group. The apprentice rate applies to apprentices who are under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship. Apprentices who are 19 or over, or have completed their first year, are entitled to the appropriate minimum wage rate for their age. Continue reading this free article

Factsheet: holiday entitlement

Basic statutory paid leave entitlement for all workers is 5.6 weeks. This can include eight bank and public holidays, although employees are not necessarily always allowed to take time off on the public holidays themselves. For employees working a typical five-day week, the entitlement equates to 28 days’ leave each year. This figure of 28 days also applies to those working six or seven days a week.

Employers can, of course, improve on these minimum provisions in the contractual leave that they offer. Any holiday entitlement that goes beyond the minimum does not have to follow the statutory rules – for example, it may be subject to length of service. Continue reading Factsheet: holiday entitlement

National Living Wage has only a small effect on earnings figures

The introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW) in April appears to have only had a minor effect on the latest Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) figures. The earnings data released today by the ONS are for the period to the end of April 2016 and the figures were expected to show a boost to earnings in the lowest-paid sector, that covering wholesale, retail, hotels and restaurants. However total pay growth in this large sector for the period from February to April 2016 was comparatively modest at 1.3%, up slightly on the even weaker three-month average of 1.0% for January to March. Continue reading this free article

In focus: Payments for making unsocial hours

Pay for working unsocial hours is in the news, as a key issue in the junior doctors’ dispute with the Government, and as one of the terms some lower-paying employers are reducing to offset the new ‘National Living Wage’ for employees aged 25 and over. These examples create the impression that the pressures on unsocial hours pay are mostly downward. However, this is not universally the case, with premiums being maintained in other important sectors like call centres and engineering. Continue reading In focus: Payments for making unsocial hours

Lawyers enjoy higher pay rises

A recent survey of pay for in-house lawyers by IDR found that median salary increases ranged from 2.35% for qualified solicitors to 2.75% for deputy general counsels. We found higher pay increases in the private sector than across the public and not-for-profit sectors. Recruitment and retention issues appear to be muted. Few employers reported difficulties recruiting lawyers, with any such problems typically occurring at more junior levels. Meanwhile just a fifth of employers are experiencing problems retaining lawyers (generally at senior legal adviser level and below). Our analysis shows significant variations in salary levels by sector, as well as variations by region, company size, company turnover and PQE. Continue reading Lawyers enjoy higher pay rises

Labour market remains in mostly good shape

The ongoing recovery in the UK labour market looks to have continued in the first quarter of 2016, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. Employment continues to rise, albeit at a slower rate than during 2015, and unemployment also fell marginally, though it still remains above the important milestone of 5%. Continue reading Labour market remains in mostly good shape

Graduate labour market recovers

The market for graduate jobs has become more buoyant over the last two years, driven by a recovery in private sector recruitment. This is one of the key findings of our survey of graduate salaries. The survey found that the number of graduate recruits rose by 11% in 2015 and is projected to rise by a further 17% in 2016. Meanwhile applications for graduate vacancies have risen at a faster rate, ensuring that competition for each placement remains stiff. Continue reading Graduate labour market recovers

Viewpoint: Is the Government flexible on pay?

Government policy on pay usually has little direct influence over the private sector. But the current official limit of 1% on public sector pay awards, which has been in place since 2010, has arguably played a part – alongside reductions in public spending – in damping down pay pressures in the wider economy. The policy has of course been made easier to maintain by the fact that inflation has been relatively low over most of the period. Continue reading Viewpoint: Is the Government flexible on pay?

Update on the National Living Wage

Since our last special report on the National Living Wage (NLW), in February, we have been continuing to monitor the effects of the new statutory minimum rate of £7.20 an hour for employees aged 25 and over. Our main finding is that, despite the age limit, many employers have been applying the new minimum to staff aged between 21 and 24 as well, and in many cases to all staff. This is particularly the case in retail, though other companies are looking to alter the age profiles of their workforces, possibly to make future use of the age distinctions contained in the minimum wage structure. Continue reading Update on the National Living Wage