The National Living Wage (NLW) – the minimum wage for those aged 23 and over – will rise on 1 April 2021 by 6.6% to £9.50 an hour. The 59p rise was backed by the Low Pay Commission and means an annual wage of £19,760 for a 40-hour week. The other new minimum wage brackets are £9.18 an hour (ages 21-22), up from £8.36; £6.83 (ages 18-20), up from £6.56; and £4.81 (under-18s and apprentices), up from £4.30.
Some 2.2 million workers, about half of them in retail, hospitality, or cleaning, will be boosted by this increase. But these minimum wage rises come at a time when firms are already facing significant cost pressures (notably energy, transportation) and risk compressing profit margins and fuelling inflation.