Toggle high contrast

Today's minimum wage increase is badly needed 

Published date
An extra £20 a week won't solve all the problems faced by low paid workers, but it is a necessary step in the right direction.

The UK's legal minimum wage rates all go up from today, with the main rate for those aged 25 and and above rising by 51 pence to £8.72 an hour.

This means that a full-time minimum wage worker on 40 hours a week will get an extra £20.40 a week, while part time workers will get an increase of around a tenner.

It's a 6.2% increase to the main rate (which the government calls the "National Living Wage"). In contrast, average earnings for all employees increased by 3.1% last year, so the minimum wage is catching up a bit.

This increase won't solve all their problems, but it's a step in the right direction.

The current crisis demands strong NMW increases 

The TUC has lobbied the government to go further and make the National Minimum Wage a real living wage of £10 an hour as quickly as possible. 

Now more than ever it's important that the minimum wage delivers decent pay rises for the tow million low paid workers who rely on it. 

Despite extra government support, many households are being hit by short time working and are struggling to make ends meet. Some low paid workers are having to spend more on food as supermarket shelves are swept clean of value brands.

Many others are part of a low paid army of workers who are keeping the country running. This includes hospital porters, outsourced cleaners and catering workers in the NHS, and many working in social care and child care.

And don't forget retail, where more than 300,000 minimum wage workers are coming face to face with customers every day despite social distancing measures.

Other low paid employees are working flat out to produce vital supplies and get them delivered.

Food processing factories employ a lot of minimum wage workers, as does the distribution industry, where many warehouse  workers and van drivers have to rely on the legal minimum pay rate.

What next?

An extra £20 a week won't solve all the problems faced by low paid workers, but it is a necessary step in the right direction.

The minimum wage needs to rise faster in coming years and close the age gap so that younger workers are not left behind.

When we come out of the current crisis the government must put together an industrial strategy that shifts the UK towards better paid jobs in high productivity industries.

The new minimum wage hourly rates 


NMW rate Increase pence Increase percentage

Aged 25 and above
















Apprentice rate*




*Apprentice rate applies to those aged under 19 and older apprentices in first year of  training. Other apprentices mist be paid the relevant age rate.

What if my boss doesn't pay the new minimum wage rates?

  • Seek advice from your trade union rep
  • The official Pay and Work Rights Helpline provides minimum wage advice for both employers and workers.

Most workers are entitled to the NMW.

The main exception is the genuinely self-employed who are running their own independent businesses.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

To access the admin area, you will need to setup two-factor authentication (TFA).

Setup now