National minimum wage will increase by 15p an hour to £6.08 in October, the government announced.
From October, minimum wage for adult workers will be £6.08. The youth minimum wage – for 18 to 20-year olds – will also increase by 6p to £4.98 an hour.
Minimum wage for apprentices will increase by 10p to £2.60 an hour, while the minimum wage for 16 to 17-year olds will go up by 4p, to £3.68 an hour.
Changes to the national minimum wage was suggested by the Low Pay Commission.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said that the changes will help 890,000 of Britain’s lowest-paid workers.
David Norgrove, chairman of the Low Pay Commision, said that he believed the government has “struck the right balance between the needs of low-paid workers and the challenges faced by businesses.”
However, workers’ union, Unison, said that the minimum wage increase was not enough.
General secretary Dave Prentis said: “This small increase is totally outstripped by the rising cost of essentials like food and fuel. The vast majority of a low-paid worker’s pay is eaten up by basic living costs, so increases in inflation hit hard.”
According to the business community though, the increase is an untimely mistake.
David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “The change to the national minimum wage rates announced today is the wrong increase, at the wrong time.
“With over a million unemployed, the priority has to be getting people back into the job market. Youth unemployment is at a record high and we can’t afford to price young people out of work.”