Employers warned over minimum wage increase

The national minimum wage will rise to £6.31 for adults from October, the government has announced

This represents a 12 pence increase - well below the current rate of inflation. Those between the ages of 18 and 20 will receive a 5 pence rise to £5.03, while the minimum wage for apprentices will rise by 3 pence to £2.68.

The Low Pay Commission had recommended that the rate for apprentices should be frozen. but Mr Cable said: “There is worrying evidence that a significant number of employers are not paying apprentices the relevant minimum wage rate.

“Apprenticeships are at the heart of our goal to support a stronger economy, and so it is important to continue to make them attractive to young people. Therefore, I am not taking forward the Low Pay Commission’s recommendation to freeze the apprenticeship rate due to non-compliance, but instead am raising it in line with the youth rates.”

Mr Cable warned that employers of apprenticeships must pay the relevant minimum wage. He continued: “We are working on a series of tough new measures to ensure we tackle non-compliance issues across the board.”

It is criminal offence for an employer not to pay someone at least the relevant minimum wage.