National Living Wage: Government urges employers to be prepared

By Ben Winstanley

- Last updated on GMT

Staff aged 25 and over will benefit from the new National Living Wage next year
Staff aged 25 and over will benefit from the new National Living Wage next year

Related tags National living wage Minimum wage 2016

Pubs have been told to prepare early for the introduction of the new National Living Wage on 1 April 2016 following a government survey which found fewer than half of businesses were ready.

The new rate is a key part of the Government’s plan to “continue to move to a higher wage, lower tax and lower welfare society” but, while a BIS survey of 1,000 employers found 93% agreed the change was a good idea, many licensees are worried about how much time they have to adjust to the unexpected change.

Chancellor George Osborne surprised the pub sector​ back in July when he announced the new National Living Wage of £7.20 per hour.

A survey of its members by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers found that half of staff paid on an hourly basis would receive pay increases, adding significantly to operating costs.

Four simple ways to get ready for the new National Living Wage:

  • Know the correct rate of pay - £7.20 per hour for staff aged 25 and over
  • Find out which staff are eligible for the new rate
  • Update company payroll in time for 1 April 2016
  • Communicate the changes to staff as soon as possible

According to the BIS survey, more than half of businesses were yet to take key steps to prepare: only 45% had updated payroll to take account of staff aged 25 and over on the date the law passes, 39% were yet to communicate the upcoming changes to staff and 29% had looked online for more information about National Living Wage entitlement.

Easy steps

Business minister Nick Boles said: “I am urging businesses to get ready now to pay the new £7.20 rate from 1 April 2016. With just under four months left, there are some easy steps employers can take to make sure they are ready. By taking these measures, companies will be able to properly reward their staff and avoid falling foul of the law when it takes effect.”

The Publican’s Morning Advertiser will discuss operator concerns about the new national living wage at the MA300 event in Nottingham’s the Assembly Rooms, 27 January 2016. To attend contact Jo Horton on Tel: 01293 610403

Related topics Legislation Other operators Training

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