The new national living wage (NLW) announced by the Chancellor in Wednesday’s budget was set at £7.20 from April 2016 – a rise of 70p compared to the current national minimum wage, which itself is set to rise by 20p per hour in October 2015.
Longer term, the Chancellor announced that by 2020 the NLW for workers over the age of 25 will be £9 per hour. Changes to the National Insurance Contributions Employment Allowance will go some way in easing the impact of these changes for employers. However, employers should also bear in mind the impact on additional benefits, for example pension contributions (if they are based on a percentage of salary), holiday pay and overtime rates.
The Chancellor also announced that the government will consult on devolving powers on Sunday trading to mayors and local authorities. At the moment larger shops are limited to six hours’ trading on Sundays.
Employers may wish to start looking at their employment contracts and whether any employees have already expressed an objection to Sunday working. Under certain circumstances, shop workers can refuse to work Sundays under provisions which apply irrespective of religious belief.
This is intended for general information only and should not be considered as giving advice in relation to any individual case nor be taken as applying to any particular case. No liability is accepted for any such use of the information contained.