Employment relations minister Ed Davey has confirmed that the national minimum wage will increase by 13p an hour to £5.93 from today.

A new hourly rate of £2.50 will also be introduced from today for apprentices, who previously did not qualify for a statutory wage. The age threshold for paying the adult rate will be reduced from 22 to 21, giving an estimated 50,000 people a pay rise of more than 20%.

Mr Davey said: “Responsible employers should make themselves aware of the new
rates that come into effect today. The increases to the national minimum
wage this year are appropriate for the economic climate. They will
strike a balance between helping the lowest paid whilst at the same time
not jeopardising their employment.

“The Low Pay Commission estimates that around 970,000 people stand to benefit from these increases.”

The government has also announced that employers who deliberately flouted minimum wage laws will be publicly named under a new scheme.

Mr Davey added: “Bad publicity can be a powerful weapon in the fight against employers who try to cheat their workers and their competitors. Their reputation can be badly damaged if they are seen to be flouting the law.”