Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
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Workers advised to make sure they are getting new National Living Wage as government survey reveals almost a third of staff never check their payslips

Workers are urged to take simple steps to make sure they receive the government’s new National Living Wage next month.

  • one week to go until government’s new National Living Wage becomes law
  • £7.20 rate to be introduced for workers aged 25 years and over on 1 April 2016
  • workers urged to visit www.livingwage.gov.uk to check they are eligible

Workers are urged to take simple steps to make sure they receive the government’s new National Living Wage next month (April 2016), after research reveals nearly one third of people never check their payslips.

The survey for the government’s Step Up for Britain campaign finds 32% of the lowest paid employees fail to make this simple check against their earnings.

But workers can take 3 simple steps to make sure they are eligible and receive the pay increase:

  • visit www.livingwage.gov.uk to check if you are eligible
  • use the website’s online calculator to see how much more you will be paid
  • check your payslip after 1 April 2016; if you don’t receive the extra, speak to your boss or talk to Acas for advice.

When it comes to checking payslips across the UK, those least likely to check were in the North-West and East of England, where 41% of workers failed to do so. Just behind them were those in the West Midlands (40%) and London (37%).

Those most likely to check their payslips were in the North-East, where just 11% never bothered, followed by Wales and the South-West of England (21%), Northern Ireland (24%), Scotland (25%) and Yorkshire and Humber (26%).

The government’s Step Up For Britain campaign was launched in January 2016 to highlight the introduction of the National Living Wage on 1 April 2016. More than one million workers are set to directly benefit from the increase, which sees the current National Minimum Wage rate of £6.70 increase by 50p for those aged 25 years and over. Many on a full time wage will see pay packets rise by up to £900 a year.

The advertising campaign features a cast of workers currently earning on or around the current National Minimum Wage.

One of those, social services worker Rena Matthew, from West London, who earns £7 per hour, said workers should check their entitlement. She added:

It’s important to look into it and see if you are eligible. You could be missing out; the extra money can really help. It will be beneficial for individuals and families.

So far, more than 580,000 people have visited the Step Up for Britain campaign website to find out what the increase will mean for workers and employers.

The government’s survey also revealed that 80% of workers were likely to speak to their employers if they don’t get an increase.

Across the UK, the survey showed those most likely to have a conversation lived in the North-East (90%), followed by the East of England (84%) and the South-East (83%).

Those least likely to do so were in London, where 73% would be likely to have a conversation.

In Scotland, 80% would speak with their boss, 77% in Wales and 79% in Northern Ireland.

Stewart Gee, Head of Information and Guidance at Acas, said:

Eligible workers should check what they are entitled to under these new changes and employers need to ensure that they are ready too.

We are running a series of training events over the next few months to help organisations prepare for the new wage rates.

Notes to Editors

1.The government’s new National Living Wage is being introduced by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

2.The survey for the Step up For Britain campaign was carried out by TNS BMRB with 1,263 people paid on or around the National Minimum Wage.

3.The new National Living Wage follows rises in the National Minimum Wage rates in October 2015 to:

  • £6.70 for 21-year-olds and over
  • £5.30 for 18 to 20-year-olds
  • £3.87 for under 18 years old
  • £3.30 for apprentices (the rate applies to all apprentices in year one of an apprenticeship, and 16 to 18-year-old apprentices in any year of an apprenticeship).

From October 2016, the rates will rise again to:

  • £6.95 for 21 to 24-year-olds
  • £5.55 for 18 to 20-year-olds
  • £4.00 for under 18 years old
  • £3.40: For apprentices (the rate applies to all apprentices in year one of an apprenticeship, and 16 to 18-year-old apprentices in any year of an apprenticeship).

4.The National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage are designed to protect low income workers and provide an incentive to work by ensuring that all workers benefit from as generous a wage as possible.

5.For exceptions to the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage please see who gets the minimum wage

6.HMRC has enforced the National Minimum Wage since 1999 and will have responsibility for enforcing the new National Living Wage from April 2016. HMRC’s compliance teams will:

  • investigate complaints from workers and third parties that the living wage has not been paid
  • inspect employers’ records to check that they meet their obligation to pay the living wage
  • help employers to understand their obligations under legislation
  • secure pay arrears for workers

For more information about the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage, please see www.acas.org.uk/nmw

7.Acas is running a series of training events for employers on the government’s new National Living Wage.

8.For more information on the campaign, contact the National Living Wage Step Up For Britain campaign team on: 020 7215 3302.

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