There is a higher percentage of badly paid workers in the hospitality industry than any other sector, the Low Pay Commission (LPC) confirmed last week.
The LPC's long-awaited report into the minimum wage highlighted the fact that 40% of hospitality workers earn less than £3.50 an hour.
Some of these workers will get pay rises as a result of the Government's acceptance of the LPC's recommendation of a minimum wage of £3.60. But, as widely predicted, a lower minimum rate for younger workers will limit the number of people that will benefit.
There will be no minimum pay for those under 18 and the pay floor will be £3 an hour for those aged 18-20, rising to £3.20 in June 2000. Twenty-one-year-olds will also get £3 an hour initially.
Tips received in pay packets as part of a distribution of service charge will also be part of the minimum wage, but not tips received otherwise.
The minimum wage will not be index-linked.
Margaret Beckett, president of the Board of Trade, said regional variations had been considered but rejected on the grounds that the LPC had found "far greater variations within regions than between regions".