1 April 2016

UK National Living Wage comes into effect today

The new National Living Wage of £7.20/hour has come into force in the UK… but it’s only for the over 25s!
British coins with clock facesChancellor George Osborne declared last year that “Britain deserves a pay rise” in the form of the new National Living Wage.

The NLW finally comes into effect from Friday, 1st April 2016 – and this is no April Fool’s joke! 1.3 million workers will be getting a pay rise thanks to Chancellor George.

Hang on… young working people thanking Osborne for something? Well, unfortunately (as you probably guessed) there’s a slight catch… the National Living Wage of £7.20 only applies to workers of 25 and over.

Employees aged between 21-24 will still be sticking to the National Minimum Wage of £6.70 – that’s 50p less an hour than their older colleagues.

However, from October this year, the Minimum Wage will be increased to £6.95 for 21-24 year olds, so you’ll be a few pennies richer come autumn.

Is the National Living Wage fair?

Minimum wage for studentsThe NWL means a substantial pay rise for a large percentage of the UK’s young people, which is great, but why leave the under 25s out of it?

The difference between a 24 year old and a 25 year old employee is just one year… and now, 50p an hour.

If both employees work equally hard in the exact same role, why is one automatically entitled to the Living Wage whilst the other is stuck with the Minimum?

Check out Save the Student’s guide to knowing your rights as a part-time employee for more info on this!

It would seem that the government is under the impression that adulthood (and all the financial responsibility that goes with it) doesn’t begin until the age of 25 – in 2014 they also scrapped housing benefits for under 25s.

Do you think the living wage should apply to 21-24 year olds too? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Find out more about the kind of grants, bursaries and other forms of financial support available to UK students here.

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