Editor's message: The national living wage was introduced on 1 April 2016, having been a surprise announcement in the Budget 2015. The decision to call the new rate the "national living wage" has caused some confusion. In fact, it is a new single hourly rate of the national minimum wage for workers aged 25 and over. The current rate is £7.20 an hour, but the intention is for it to reach 60% of median earnings by 2020, which will entail significant increases over the next couple of years.
Employers should not confuse the national living wage with the living wage rate used by the Living Wage Foundation, which is calculated on the actual cost of living, including essentials like rent, childcare and transport, and is appreciably higher.
Susie Munro, senior employment law editor
This week's Autumn Statement revealed that the national living wage will rise to £7.50 per hour from April 2017.
The general secretary of the TUC Frances O'Grady warned "greedy businesses that treat workers like animals" that they have no place to hide in her speech at the TUC Congress in Brighton.
Despite it being in place for several weeks now, many employers are still getting to grips with the costs and administration associated with the new national living wage. Neil Pickering looks at some efficiency measures that could ease the transition.
The national living wage encourages employers to recruit younger workers over older workers to cut costs in breach of age discrimination laws, Labour MP Holly Lynch has argued during a parliamentary debate.
The Low Pay Commission consults on various aspects of the national living wage and national minimum wage.
Every April, new legislation affecting employment rights and responsibilities is introduced. This year, the development receiving the most attention is the introduction of the national living wage.
The national living wage comes into effect on 1 April 2016. How well prepared is your organisation for applying rate changes when a worker moves from one rate to a higher rate band of the national minimum wage?
With a slow growing economy, few commentators expect a sudden change in pay growth for the foreseeable future. This is confirmed in XpertHR's survey of pay award forecasts, with the expected value of pay awards for the coming year remaining subdued.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to the national living wage.