National Minimum Wage: Are you Prepared?

With the recent budget announcements and big changes to National Minimum Wage, flexible working, holiday pay and more, it’s important as employers to prepare your business early to avoid error.

At Allstaff, we have put together a short breakdown to help you stay informed.

National Minimum Wage Makes History

From 1st April 2024, we will see a dramatic change to employees salaries. National Minimum Wage (NMW) is not only increasing, but the banding is changing too. The banding for employees aged 21 to 22 will disappear from 1st April. This means all workers aged over 21 will be entitled to the new NMW. The new rate for NMW is now £11.44, the biggest increase in history from the current rate of £10.42. Any workers aged 21, and sitting in the 21 to 22 banding set to be scrapped, will see an even bigger increase to their salaries.

The combination of changes will impact a lot more workers than previous years increases. Employers will need to increase all salaries to existing staff who are currently above NMW in order to remain competitive and maintain the differentials in salary structures.

Employee National Insurance Decreases Further

The March Budget delivered even more exciting news for employees. National Insurance Contributions (NIC) will decrease by a further 2% in April. Since January, our personal NIC were lowered from 12% to 10% and from April this will now reduce to 8%. This will see an average increase to annual salaries of over £200 to full-time workers.

More Flexible Working

From April, workers will be able to submit a request for flexible working from day 1 of employment. The current rights only allow employees to submit their request after 26 weeks of employment. With these new rules, workers are also entitled to make 2 requests in a year. An increase from the current singular request.

Later in the year, they will be bringing in more rights to workers on unpredictable or zero hour contracts. They will have the right to request a more predictable working pattern.

Getting Prepared

As an employer, you should already be reviewing your current workers salaries and pay structures to highlight those who will fall below the NMW requirements come April. Knowing how many of your employees this will impact will help you financially plan ahead. You can then accurately review your hiring plans to establish if these initial plans will still be feasible before starting the recruitment process.

When recruiting this close to the NMW changes, it’s important to reflect what the new hourly rate would be. We don’t advise clients to recruit at the current NMW as with candidates notice periods they will fall below the requirements prior to their start date.

If you are hiring or you want help navigating the new changes coming into force this April, why not reach out to one of our Recruitment Specialists today. With many years of experience in the industry, we are well-equipped to educate and provide honest, transparent and quality advice.


Milton Keynes: 01908 242500

Bedford: 01234 273232


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