Two million workers receive 4% pay rise
Minimum pay for workers aged 25 and over is rising by more than 4% as the National Living Wage increases from £7.20 an hour to £7.50.
For somebody working full-time, the 1 April increase means a pay rise of nearly £600 a year to about £14,625.
But business groups have again raised concerns that prices may rise to cover the cost.
Meanwhile pay levels in general are failing to keep pace with the rising cost of living.
The rise comes on the first anniversary of the introduction of the National Living Wage which increased minimum pay sharply for workers aged 25 and over.
The National Minimum Wage, which began in 1999 and now covers workers aged 16 to 24 and apprentices, is also rising by 5p or 10p an hour from now depending on age.
This means 21 to 24-year-olds will only receive a 1.4% pay rise, and 18 to 20-year-olds will get a rise of less than 1% – although the minimum wage did rise significantly in October.
When both policies were introduced business groups raised fears that the extra burden would lead to job losses.
Yet, in a report last year, the Low Pay Commission said that there was “no clear evidence” of an impact on employment.
In fact, it said that sectors with low-paid workers such as retail, cleaning and horticulture had seen employment rise.