Nearly one million low paid employees, two thirds of them women, will benefit from a raise in the National Minimum Wage.
Labour’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced that the adult National Minimum Wage will rise from £5.52 to £5.73.
The rate for 18-21 year olds will also increase from £4.60 to £4.77, while the 16-17 year old rate will rise from £3.40 to £3.53.Gordon Brown said: “Some people said the minimum wage would cost us two million jobs. We have a rising minimum wage and we have created three million jobs.”
The Labour Government has also boosted the funding for enforcement of the National Minimum Wage and is planning tough new penalties for rogue employers who underpay staff as part of the Employment Bill which is currently before Parliament.
Since the implementation of the Minimum Wage Act, Labour’s National Minimum Wage has made a huge difference in making work pay and helping families out of poverty in Britain.
Since October 2007 the minimum wage for adults, combined with Working Tax credits and other benefits, has guaranteed an income of at least £292 a week for families with one child and one full-time worker.
While the Tories opposed the minimum wage and still criticise it, the Labour Government is taking steps to strengthen it – ensuring that employees know their rights and employers know their responsibilities.