Money Wellness
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calendar icon02 Oct 2023

Major wage boost on the cards for 2024

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced today that the national living wage will increase to more than £11 an hour from next April.

Speaking at the Conservation Party Conference in Manchester, he committed to following the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations for a national living wage rise, resulting in two million low-paid workers being £1,000 a year better off.

The national living wage was introduced in 2016 with the aim of ending low pay. Successive rises have meant full-time workers will be £9,000 a year better off next April than they were four years ago.

Hunt said: “We promised in our manifesto to raise the national living wage to two-thirds of median income – ending low pay in this country.

“At the moment it is £10.42 an hour and we are waiting for the Low Pay Commission to confirm its recommendations for next year. But I confirm today, whatever the recommendations, we will increase it next year to at least £11 an hour. A paid rise for over two million workers.”

 What’s the difference between the national minimum wage and the national living wage?

The national minimum wage is the minimum pay per hour almost all workers are entitled to. The national living wage is different – it’s higher than the national minimum wage.

The national living wage is for all workers over the age of 23.

The current national living wage is £10.42 per hour.

The national minimum wage applies to people above school leaving age but under 23.

The national minimum wage rates are as follows:

  • Age 21-22 - £10.18
  • Age 18-20 - £7.49
  • Under 18 - £5.28
  • Apprentice - £5.28

What’s the ‘real living wage’?

As well as the national living wage, there’s also an unofficial and voluntary ‘real living wage.’

This is calculated by the Living Wage Foundation and is based on the cost of living.

The ‘real living wage’ is currently £10.90 an hour for workers across the UK and £11.95 in London.

Around 4,000 employers are signed up the scheme such as IKEA, Aviva, Nationwide Building Society and Google.

What should you do if you think you’re being paid under the national living wage?

If you’re being underpaid or think you’re being underpaid, talk to your employer first. If that doesn’t sort the issue, report it to the HMRC at

HMRC may contact you for further details if it looks like you have not been paid correctly and they will investigate your employer. HMRC will keep you updated on their progress and if you are owed money, they will tell your employer to pay to directly to you.

If you’ve been underpaid by your employer, you are legally entitled to the back pay you are owed.

You can also call the Acas helpline for free and confidential advice on 0300 123 1100.

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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