Research by the Low Pay Commission shows Blackpool has nearly twice the average number of workers on minimum wage. The national figure is 8.5%, but in Blackpool this rises to 16%, the second highest in the North West.
“Blackpool is one of areas most affected by minimum wage increases due to the high numbers of people employed in the hospitality sector. Over 30% of people employed in hospitality nationally are on minimum wage. We also have relatively few large private employers and again businesses with less than 10 employees are statistically most likely to offer minimum wage roles” said David Aird, Solicitor and Director at Blackhurst Budd Solicitors.
From 1st April 2017 the following increases come into effect:
- For workers who are aged 25 and over, from £7.20 to £7.50
- For workers aged at least 21 but under 25 rises from £6.95 to £7.05 per hour
- For workers who are aged at least 18 but under 21 rises from £5.55 to £5.60 per hour
- For workers aged 16 or 17 rises from £4 to £4.05 per hour
- The apprentice rate increases from £3.40 to £3.50 per hour
- The accommodation offset increases from £6 to £6.40
Commenting on the increases, the Chair of the Low Pay Commission Bryan Sanderson said:
“The minimum wage increases on 1 April will bring another year of substantial pay rises for the lowest-paid. The minimum wage will cover more workers than ever, and ripple effects mean that the benefits could affect people earning above the minimum as well. Thanks to the minimum wage, hourly pay for the lowest-paid is at its highest ever level – unlike pay for other workers which remains well below its pre-recession peak.”
Whilst this is good news for employees it puts additional pressure on employers, particularly smaller businesses.
“It’s important that all organisations are aware of these increases. Failure to pay the minimum wage can not only result in fines, but also potentially being named and shamed. In February the government named 360 businesses which have failed to pay either the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage including Debenhams and Subway” said David Aird.