National minimum wage set to rise by 3% from October

Britain’s national minimum wage is set to rise by 20p an hour to £6.70 by October, announced Prime Minister David Cameron today. In the biggest increase since 2008, the rise will see a 3% increase in adult rates and a 20% increase in apprentice rates from £2.73 to £3.30 an hour.

The rates for young people will also increase, from £5.13 to £5.30 (3%)  for 18 to 20-year-olds and from £3.79 to £3.87 (2%) for 16 and 17-year-olds.

Cameron said, “At the heart of our long-term economic plan for Britain is a simple idea – that those who put in, should get out; that hard work is really rewarded; that the benefits of recovery are truly national. That’s what today’s announcement is all about – saying to hardworking taxpayers, this is a government that is on your side.”

However, this increase places added pressure on small, labour-intensive salons that are already struggling with economic recovery.

National Hairdressers’ Federation  president, Paul Curry, said, “This will simply add to the wage pressures on salons. Coupled with funding reforms, it will make apprentices more expensive and therefore less attractive to salons, and in turn reduce employment opportunities.”

However, it's not all bad news for salons as this week also brought the announcement of a broadscale review of business rates. Ahead of the 2016 Budget, the Government renewed its commitment to support developing businesses and the high street by conducting a review of business rates and implementing a £1billion package to help reduce the cost of rates, with particular support given to the smallest businesses.