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Advice For Employers & HR Professionals

Living Wage week 6 to 12 November 2023

Many of you will have seen on your social media feeds that the National Living Wage increased on 24 October 2023 – with a rate of £13.15 being set for London and £12.00 across the remainder of the UK.

But what does this mean in reality and what is the distinction between the different rates?

The National Minimum Wage 

This is a statutory payment set by the Government and covers under 23’s.  It is based on recommendations from businesses and trade unions and is currently set at the following rates:

Apprentice         £5.28

16-17 year old    £5.28

18-20 year old   £7.49

21-22                   £10.18

The National Living Wage

This is a statutory payment set by the Government and currently covers workers aged over 23, although there are plans to extend it to 21 and 22 year olds from April 2024. It is a % of medium earnings and aims to reach 66% of median earnings by 2024.

It is currently set at £10.42 across the UK.

It is illegal to pay staff less than the National Minimum Wage/National Living Wage and is punishable by fines of up to £20,000 per worker and a minimum of £100.00 for each employee or worker affected, even if the underpayment is worth less.  Your company name may also be published on a public list.

The Real Living Wage

This is a voluntary benchmark payment for responsible employers who choose to pay all their employees over 18 a rate that meets the basic cost of living in the UK and London.  It is calculated independently, based on a basket of household goods and services.

The current rates are:

£12.00 across the UK

£13.15 in London  

Clearly, whilst the country remains in a “cost of living crisis”, a wage independently calculated on what is actually required to live, appears to be “fairer” than the current government’s method of calculation.

Torque Law is an accredited Living Wage Employer. If you are an employer and interested in implementing a Real Living Wage policy, guidance can be found on the Living Wage Foundation website.

Change is coming:

With whispers of a general election in the near future and manifestos on employees rights, wages and parental leave at the forefront of the opposition’s campaign, this could mean significant changes ahead for employers. We will be reviewing it all at our forthcoming January Employment Law Update Seminar.   If you are interested in booking a place, please visit our Events page or click here to book via Eventbrite.


If you would like advice on wages or any other employment law matter, please do not hesitate to get in touch and we would be happy to help. Contact Us



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