Women will be the main winners when the minimum wage rises tomorrow.
Almost 900,000 workers – most of them women – will get a pay rise in the morning thanks to the 2.5% increase to Britain's basic pay rate, says the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
The minimum wage is set to increase by 15p to £6.08 per hour for adults; by 6p to £4.98 for 18 to 20-year-olds; and by 4p to £3.68 for 16 and 17-year-olds. The rate for apprentices will increase by 10p to £2.60 an hour.
Help for thousands
"The rise will put extra cash in the pockets of the UK's lowest-paid workers when they can ill afford to have their pay squeezed by inflation," says Brendan Barber, the TUC general secretary.
"The minimum wage has already helped hundreds of thousands of families without causing significant job losses and its success has shown that despite much scare-mongering from some employers, sensible labour market regulation is good for business."
Employed vs self-employed
The pay rise is also good news for the government's coffers – it is expected to net £230 million for the treasury because of higher tax and national insurance rates, as well as lower benefits payments.
Unions are now petitioning the Low Pay Commission to make next year's increase large. Some union leaders believe it needs to rise to above £8 an hour in order to be classes as an acceptable 'living wage'.