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Workers urged to check pay as Living Wage becomes law

As the National Living Wage becomes law on Friday 1 April, the Government is encouraging workers to make sure their pay is at or above the new minimum level.

From April, the National Living Wage (NLW) becomes law. The new £7.20 rate has been introduced for workers aged 25 years and over. The Government is urging employees to make sure they are being paid the NLW as new research reveals nearly one third of people never check their pay-slips.

A survey for the Government's Step Up for Britain campaign has found that 32% of the lowest paid employees fail to check their earnings. 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%).

Employees can take three simple steps to make sure they receive the pay increase. The Government suggests:

  • Visiting to check eligibility;
  • Using the website's online calculator to calculate earnings;
  • Checking payslips after 1 April 2016; if in doubt, employees should speak to their boss or get advice from Acas.

The Step Up For Britain campaign was launched in January 2016 to highlight the introduction of the National Living Wage. 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.

As businesses get ready for these changes, the Government's survey also reveals that 80% of workers are likely to speak to their employers if they don't get an increase.

Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Business (FSB), said: 

"With the new National Living Wage coming into force, all employers have a legal duty to make sure they pay their staff the correct wage."

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."

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