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Posted on 22 November 2023

Autumn 2023 Budget

Posted in Legal news

Read time: 2 minutes

The Autumn Budget was delivered today (Wednesday, 22nd November 2023) by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

Employees and employers will note the reduction in NI (National Insurance Contributions) from 12% to 10%. This comes into force on Saturday 6th January 2024. There is no change in income tax.

As anticipated, the Government has accepted the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations for increases in the rates of the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage.

Changes in National Minimum Wage rates effective April 2024

With the current economic climate, one of the key points in today’s Autumn Budget was the increase in rates for the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage.

Every year the government and the Low Pay Commission work together to review these rates, to ensure they keep up with inflation and the economic status at the time.

What does this mean for employers?

Effective from 1 April 2024, employers will have to review their current payroll and ensure that they are paying their employees at least the National Living Wage or the National Minimum Wage. This is based on the employee’s age; however, employers must be mindful of the change of the age of qualification for National Living Wage from 23 years old to 21 years. This means employees who are 21 or over must be paid the National Living Wage. The rates applicable from 1 April 2024 are as follows:

  • National Living Wage (21 and over):        £11.44
  • National Minimum Wage (18-20 Years):  £8.60
  • National Minimum Wage (16-17 Years):   £6.40

It is important that employers ensure they have a constant monitoring of their payroll, as not paying the National Living Wage or the National Minimum Wage, as appropriate, can have serious consequences for an employer. In particular, significant reputational damage may ensue on the basis that the Government “names and shames” those employers who have failed to pay their workers correctly.

What does this mean for employees?

If employees are not paid the correct wages, they can bring claims for unpaid wages. This can include back pay, and compensation for loss arising from not being paid the correct wages. Therefore, it is advisable that all employees check their payslips carefully to ensure they are being paid correctly.

How can Winston Solicitors help?

Winston Solicitors can assist employers to ensure that their policies and procedures are up to date including ensuring that each individual is being paid the legal minimum wage.

We can also assist with any claims made against the employer by an employee who has not been paid the correct wage and or any claims related to discrimination, unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal.