The new mandatory National Living Wage (NLW) has come into force, requiring employers to pay workers aged 25 and over at least £7.20 an hour.
It is expected to give 1.3 million workers an immediate pay rise. The policy was announced in last summer’s Budget by Chancellor George Osborne, in an effort to create a higher-wage, lower-welfare economy.
Workers aged 21 to 24 will continue to be entitled to the National Minimum Wage of £6.70 an hour. The intention is for the NLW to rise to more than £9 an hour by 2020. But there are fears of job losses as companies struggle to pay the new higher wages.
The independent Office for Budget Responsibility has warned that 60,000 jobs could go as a result.