National Living Wage

The government’s Step Up for Britain campaign is calling on workers to ensure they get the new national living wage, which takes effect next week.

The NLW becomes law on 1 April at the rate of £7.20 an hour for workers aged 25 and older, an increase of 50p on the existing national minimum wage.

The campaign called on workers to visit to check their eligibility and use the website’s online calculator to see how much more they should be paid.

The reminder comes as a government survey by TNS BMRB, of 1,263 people paid the NMW or similar, revealed that almost a third of the lowest-paid staff never checked their payslips.

Employees in the North West and East of England were the least likely to check, at 41%, the survey found. Those in the West Midlands and London were just behind at 40% and 37% respectively.

North East employees were most likely to check their payslips. Just 11% never bothered in the region, followed by Wales and the South West on 21%, Northern Ireland on 24%, Scotland on 25% and Yorkshire and Humber on 26%.

The government’s survey also revealed that 80% of workers were likely to speak to their employers if they did not 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 raise the issue.

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

Stewart Gee, head of information and guidance at conciliation service 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.”