As unveiled by Jeremy Hunt in Autumn 2022, the UK national minimum wage has recently increased by 9.7%. In the wake of a cost-of-living crisis which has seen this month called “Awful April”, the news has come as a relief to many.
The advisory to the UK Government on minimum wage, the Low Pay Commission, said that the rise would give full-time workers an added £150 per month. However, opposition parties in Scotland have said that people will be left in poverty regardless of the increase.
Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer said: “After a year of skyrocketing bills, a rise in the minimum wage is long overdue. But even after this boost the minimum wage is still below the poverty line. Profitable companies will continue paying their staff a poverty wage, with taxpayers then subsidising that by funding the social security payments those low-paid workers will rely on to survive.
“For millions across the UK in-work poverty is still their reality. They will still struggle to meet the cost of food, energy and housing."
Here’s what you need to know about the National Minimum Wage and how much it increased in 2023.
What is the National UK Minimum Wage?
Employers must pay their staff the National Minimum Wage, but the cost depends on the employee’s age. Those over school leaving age will receive a minimum wage and everyone aged 23 and over gets the National Living Wage.
Currently, the hourly rate of the National Minimum Wage is £5.28 for apprentices and those under 18, £7.49 for 18 to 20-year-olds, £10.18 if you’re aged 21-22 and £10.42 for everyone over 23. Apprentices aged 19 and over who have completed the first year of their apprenticeship are entitled to the National Minimum Wage e.g., a 21-year-old apprentice who has finished their first year will receive £10.18 per hour.
What is the minimum wage in Scotland?
The UK Government sets the minimum wage which means all the UK nations of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England, receive the same payment. The minimum wage of Scotland is set at the same rate and so will increase accordingly with new adjustments.
How much did the minimum wage increase in 2023?
The National Living Wage rose by 9.7 per cent up to £10.42 an hour for workers over 23. All other minimum wage bands saw this 9.7 per cent increase apart from those aged 21 to 22 who gained an extra 10.9 per cent.
Here is the breakdown of minimum wage rises in 2023:
National Living Wage (23 or over) - £9.50 to £10.42
Minimum Wage (21 - 22) - £9.18 to £10.18
Minimum Wage (18 - 20) £6.83 to £7.49
Minimum Wage (under 18) - £4.81 to £5.28
Apprenticeship - £4.81 to £5.28
What is the difference between the Real Living Wage and Minimum Wage?
The National Minimum Wage is the minimum hourly pay that almost all workers receive with some differences between age brackets and if it’s an apprenticeship. The Real Living Wage, however, is higher than the National Minimum Wage and it is only granted to workers aged 23 or over.