The government has confirmed that the new National Minimum Wage rates, which come into effect on 1 October 2010, will be:
£5.93 (£5.80) per hour for workers aged 21* and over;
£4.92 (£4.83) per hour for 18-20 year olds; and
£3.64 (£3.57) per hour for 16-17 year olds.
*This band covers workers aged 22 and over until 30 September 2010.
For the first time there will also be an apprentice minimum wage rate of £2.50 per hour, which will apply to apprentices who are under 19 or those that are aged 19 and over but in the first year of their apprenticeship.
The government has also written to the Low Pay Commission (LPC) and has asked them to pay particular attention to:
the competitiveness of small firms; and
the employment prospects of young people, including those in apprenticeships and internships.
The LPC will report to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills by the end of February 2011, with their recommendations for October 2011.