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National Minimum Wage to rise to £6.08 from October


The main adult rate of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) will rise by 15p - or 2.5% - to reach £6.08 later this year, the Government has announced.

The decision was based on recommendations from the Low Pay Commission and is expected to help more than 890,000 of Britain’s lowest-paid workers.


As well as an increase in the adult wage, the NMW for 18-20 year olds will increase by 6p to £4.98 an hour, while the rate for 16-17 year olds will increase by 4p to £3.68 an hour. The minimum hourly rate for apprentices will go up by 10p to £2.60.


However business groups remain divided over the latest NMW rise, which takes effect from 1 October 2011.


The British Chambers of Commerce warned that it was the ‘wrong increase, at the wrong time’.


‘With over a million unemployed, the priority has to be getting people back into the job market. Youth unemployment is at a record high and we can't afford to price young people out of work,’ said the BCC’s David Frost. ‘These changes will be a barrier to job creation, and ultimately economic recovery’.


Yet the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) welcomed the change.


‘This moderate increase strikes the right balance during a period of economic uncertainty. It means workers on the minimum wage will not fall behind the rest of the workforce in terms of pay rises,’ said Neil Bentley, CBI deputy director-general.


Under a new scheme, which came into effect on 1 January 2011, employers who deliberately pay their staff less than the NMW may now have their breaches publicised by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.