Low Pay Commission (LPC) consultation on National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) rates

Circular No: NP/164/15


Our Ref: S1/7

8th September 2015

Dear Colleague,

Low Pay Commission (LPC) consultation on National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) rates

Further to circular no. NP/038/15 of 6th March 2015, following George Osborne’s announcement of a new NLW, the Government asked the LPC to add the NLW to its annual consultation on the NMW rates. The consultation document is attached and can be downloaded here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/have-your-say-on-the-uk-minimum-wage-rates

The union will be submitting a response and would like to hear views from branches and individual members on current NMW rates and what the increases should be in October 2016. The current and 2015-16 NMW rates are set out below:

Year    21 and over    18 to 20    Under 18    Apprentice*
2015-16 (from 1 Oct 2015)    £6.70    £5.30    £3.87    £3.30
2014-15 (current rate)    £6.50    £5.13    £3.79    £2.73
*applies to all apprentices in year 1 of their apprenticeship and for 16-18 in any year of their apprenticeship. Otherwise normal NMW rates apply.

The Government’s policy is to create 3 million apprentices over the next five years. RMT believe that there should be a single NMW rate (starting at the current rate for over 21s) for all workers, regardless of age or stage of apprenticeship.

Your views on the level of the National Living Wage would also be appreciated. The NLW will apply to workers aged 25 years and over. It will be introduced in April 2016 and has been set at £7.20 per hour. The LPC is seeking views on what the NLW increase in April 2017 should be.

Prior to the Chancellor’s announcement of the NLW for over 25s, the annual Living Wage calculated by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University was £7.85 an hour. The London Living Wage, as calculated by the Greater London Assembly was set in November 2014 at £9.15 an hour.

In addition, the LPC would like to hear evidence on the accommodation offset (currently £5.35 (£37.45 a week), a 5.3% increase on the previous year). The accommodation offset is a legal deduction that shipping companies can make to the wages of seafarers paid the NMW. The union has consistently argued that the accommodation offset should be abolished as it is a tax on low paid workers. We will be repeating that argument.

On enforcement of the NMW for seafarers, the union continues campaigning to extend this basic income protection to non-UK seafarers working in the domestic shipping industry. You will be kept updated on further progress in this campaign.

The LPC consultation closes on 25th September and it would be appreciated if you could e-mail your views before then to d.crimes@rmt.org.uk  

I would be grateful if you could bring the content of this circular to the attention of all members in your Branch.

Yours sincerely


Mick Cash
General Secretary