National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage increases for April 2024

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage increases for April 2024

The government has announced an increase to the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage, which will take effect from 1 April 2024.

These wage increases are significant because:

  • the Low Pay Commission has highlighted it as the largest-ever increase to the minimum wage in cash terms
  • the age that workers must receive the highest rate of the National Living Wage is being lowered, so it now applies to employees or workers aged 21 or over – it used to only apply to those aged 23 or over.

This effectively gets rid of the old ‘adult’ rate, which used to apply to those aged 21 or 22. The National Minimum Wage is the rate that applies to employees or workers aged under 21 or apprentices.

Those who are entitled to receive the apprentice rate must be aged under 19, or 19 and over and in the first year of their apprenticeship agreement. If an apprentice is 19 or over and has completed the first year of their current apprenticeship, they’re entitled to be paid at least the minimum wage for their age.

What are the new rates?

  • Age 21 or over (National Living Wage) – £11.44 an hour (increased from £10.42 an hour or from £10.18 an hour for those aged 21 or 22).
  • Age 18 to 20 – £8.60 an hour (increased from £7.49 an hour).
  • Age 16 and 17 – £6.40 an hour (increased from £5.28 an hour).
  • Apprentices – £6.40 an hour (increased from £5.28 an hour).

It’s important to make sure that pay is increased in line with any birthdays, or work anniversaries for apprentices moving into their second year.

FIS attends SME Connect with Prime Minister

FIS attends SME Connect with Prime Minister

FIS CEO, Iain McIlwee was a guest at the Government’s Business Connect Conference this week where The Prime Minister announced a reform package to support small businesses.

Key announcements include: 

  • From 1 April, the Government will fully fund apprenticeships in small businesses by paying the full cost of training for anyone up to the age of 21.
  • The amount of Apprenticeship Levy funds that employers can transfer to other businesses will be increased from 25% to 50%.
  • The Government will increase the thresholds which determine whether a company qualifies as a small or medium‐sized company by 50% and remove a number of reporting requirements.
  • New taskforce to be established to boost private investment in women-led businesses and make the UK the best place in the world to be a female founder.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“Whether it’s breaking down barriers and red tape for small businesses, helping businesses hire more young people into apprenticeships and skilled jobs or empowering women to start up their own businesses – this government is sticking to the plan and leaving no stone unturned to make the UK the best place to do business. Taken together, these measures will unlock a tidal wave of opportunity and make a real difference to businesses and entrepreneurs across the country.”

Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan said:

“This Government has built a world-leading apprenticeship system from the ground-up – with apprenticeships now available in around 70 per cent of all occupations. Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for businesses to develop the skills they need, and these new measures will help more businesses and young people benefit from them.  Our plan to deliver a high-growth, high-skilled economy is working, with more opportunities available to young people than ever before.”

Secretary of State for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch said:

“Almost every job in the UK is owed to what is, or what previously was, an SME. They are the engines of economic growth for this country..   Whether it’s through cutting red tape, unlocking investment or lowering business costs, today’s announcements show that this government is committed to doing all it can to turbo-charge SMEs so that they can go further and faster than ever before.”

FIS CEO, Iain McIlwee responded:

There were some positives to take away from Monday, but I am not convinced that the new apprenticeship fund is a game changer. It does, however, simplify the funding mechanism for apprenticeships – that is a good thing. The focus on women in business is important, but the discussion on finance was sadly quite remote for construction and I am not convinced will bring us anything tangible.

My underlying concern is that we are in election season now, we are getting sweeties and headline grabbing policies when we need vision and a clear plan. We have a failing housing strategy, we have dwindling numbers of trade apprenticeships and finance for construction is in short supply.

Construction is a key enabler and fundamental driver for economic growth. This was a good opportunity to raise questions and encouraging attempt by Government to engage with business discuss SME support, but came up a bit short for me. We need a clear long-term economic strategy that we can buy into and plan around. We also desperately need procurement reform to support SMEs in construction and free up investment”.

FIS CEO Iain McIlwee’s comments at the conference were covered in this Financial Times Article

See the FIS Manifesto for Construction Here

CIJC Promulgation Notice

CIJC Promulgation Notice

The Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) has released an updated Promulgation Notice to account for the rises in the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage starting from April 1st. The General Operative rate will be raised to £11.44 per hour, and the Apprentice rate for 19 to 20-year-olds will be increased to £8.60 per hour.

Unlock the door to a career in construction

Unlock the door to a career in construction

FIS is looking for members in London to provide support for individuals that have undertaken an introduction course for Interior Systems. The course is taking place in April, so if you can offer a work trial, work experience, or employment then please contact FIS Head of Skills and Training, Beena Nana before the end of March for more details.

The Skills Centre London are putting together a four-week introduction to Interior Systems in London, in collaboration with FIS and Worshipful Company of Plaisterers.

Individuals will be provided with the following training:

  • Green Labourers CSCS card
  • Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment
  • Level 1 Certificate in Basic Construction (including Plastering Techniques)
  • First Steps into Construction
  • Personal Wellbeing in Construction
  • Introducing Environmental Awareness and Sustainability
  • Practical skills training in our training environment
  • Work experience with an interior systems employer
  • Employability skills, mock interviews, CV support and career information, advice and guidance

A graduation ceremony will held at Plaisterers Hall on Monday 29 April, for both the candidates and members.

More information on the course is available here.