UNISON urges vigilance as new minimum wages rates are due

Union says stewards need to make sure employers are paying the proper amounts when the new wage rates come into force on 1 April

The new national minimum wage rates are set to rise from 1 April – and two decades after UNISON was instrumental in the creation of the wage, the union is urging activists to make sure that employers are paying what they should be.

James Anthony, a nurse from Birmingham and chair of the union’s national policy committee said: “Twenty years after it first came in, UNISON remains committed to enforcing the national minimum wage rate for all workers.

“Local stewards will no doubt be checking that employers are compliant. The next step we want to see is a move to a £10 an hour living wage regardless of your age.”

The government rebranded the top level of the national minimum wage as the ‘living wage’ in 2016, but this is not to be confused with the living wage, as set by the Living Wage Foundation, an independent organisation that campaigns for a living wage based on the cost of living.

From 1 April, the national minimum wage will rise from:

  • £7.83 to £8.21 for workers aged 25 and above;
  • £7.38 to £7.70 for workers aged 21-24;
  • £6.15 for workers aged 18-20;
  • £4.35 for workers aged 16-17;
  • £3.90 for apprentices aged under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship.

Find out more about the national minimum wage and about bargaining for the living wage