The National Minimum Wage today increases from £5.35 to £5.52 an hour.
Matching the increase for workers aged 22 and over, 18 to 21-year olds can now expect to earn £4.60 an hour, an increase of 15p.
For 16 to 17-year olds the National Minimum Wage has increased from £3.30 an hour to £3.40.
The minimum annual leave for full-time workers has also increased from 20 days to 24 days. A further rise to 28 days annual leave will come into force on 1 April 2009.
Employment minister Pat McFadden said: "These changes will improve the lives of millions of British workers and up to six million workers will benefit from the extra annual leave."
The Government has already warned hotel operators it will be targeting the sector specifically this month as part of its enforcement activity, a campaign that will extend to the entire hospitality sector next year.
Those employers found not paying the minimum wage risk criminal prosecution and fines of up to £5,000.
New NMW rates at a glance
- 22 years and older - £5.52
- 16 to 17 year olds - £3.40
By Chris Druce
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