ABOUT 80,000 workers in Yorkshire get a pay rise from today as an increase in the national minimum wage comes into effect.
Figures from the TUC showed two-thirds of the workers to benefit are women – reinforcing the aim of the national minimum wage to narrow the gender pay gap.
The unions also claimed that the 3.8% increase in the national minimum wage – taking the adult pay rate to £5.73p an hour – would also save taxpayers an extra £245m a year in reduced payments for in-work benefits.
But they called for stronger enforcement action against employers who dodged paying the minimum.
The latest increase is the ninth since the national minimum wage was introduced in April 1999. Over the past nine-and-a-half years, the national minimum wage has risen by almost 60% compared with a 44% growth in average earnings.
Bill Adams, Yorkshire and Humber TUC regional secretary, said: “The increase in the minimum wage will help thousands of families, but the low-paid face a high inflation rate as they spend a much greater proportion of their income on food and energy where prices have rocketed.”
The latest increases take the adult rate to £5.73; the development rate for workers aged 18 to 21 to £4.77; and the youth rate for 16 to 17-year-olds to £3.53.