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Four simple steps to get on top of the National Living Wage

Employers should take four simple steps to ensure they're ready for the National Living Wage (NLW) when it becomes law on 1 April 2016, the Government has announced.

Firstly, they should familiarise themselves with the new rules. Workers aged 25 and over not in the first year of an apprenticeship will be legally entitled to at least £7.20 per hour, an extra 50 pence on top of the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

Secondly, employers need to check who is eligible to receive the NLW in their organisation. More than a million workers in the UK are set to benefit directly from the increase, according to official estimates.

The Resolution Foundation put the figure at 2.8 million workers, with another 3.2 million receiving an indirect rise as employers seek to retain pay differentials. Some sectors will be affected more than others, such as retail and hospitality, it said.

Thirdly, the payroll must be updated before the 1 April 2016 deadline. In December 2015 a Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) survey found that less than half of employers had made the necessary updates.

Lastly, staff need to be notified about changes to their pay. The BIS survey found that only 39 per cent of employers had passed on the good news last December.

The Government said that it would 'take firm action', including naming, prosecution, and fines if an employer fails to pay the correct wage.

Acas publications and services

Acas has information on the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage, and can help you understand what you need to do to pay your employees correctly.

There's also Help for small firms on Handling pay and wages, the latest addition to Acas' suite of step-by-step guides, with everything you need to know to keep up with your obligations.

Acas experts can visit your organisation and help employers understand and meet their obligations surrounding pay and contracts. See Contracts and hours: how Acas can help on the Workshops, projects and business solutions page for more information or call the customer services team on 0300 123 1150.

Practical training is also available on Contracts and terms and conditions, and for new employers, Employing People - A Practical Introduction, and the special .

 

For free, impartial advice and guidance visit Acas Helpline Online.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.


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