The following is guest blog post regarding the recent National Minimum Wage increase in the UK and some interesting facts about minimum wage you may not have known.
As the National Minimum Wage has increased for employees aged 21 and over, people up and down the country will be ensured a slight pay increase as of this month. However, this security was not always in place for the lowest paid of the population, and indeed for some people it still isn’t to this very day. Here are some facts about the minimum wage that you probably didn’t know:
New Zealand was the first ever country to introduce a National Minimum Wage
Through it’s Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1894, New Zealand is understood to be the first country in the world to introduce a National Minimum Wage. A National Minimum Wage in legislation only came into effect in the UK in 1999 under Labour’s government.
Many countries still don’t have a National Minimum Wage
Although it’s conceivable to think that this may only happen in third world countries, the NMW still doesn’t exist in developed countries including Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden. They instead rely on collective bargaining agreements.
Share a house with your boss and you’re exempt from the minimum wage
If you happen to live in your boss’s house, and partake in their household’s work and leisure activities, you are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage. However, if you have this level of closeness to your boss, the minimum wage is probably the least of your worries.
Students don’t necessarily qualify for the minimum wage
If you’re a student on a work placement as part of your course (for example a sandwich year at university), you don’t qualify to receive the national minimum wage unless the placement is longer than a year.
Tips at work don’t count towards your National Minimum Wage
If you work in the service industry and receive tips as part of your employment (e.g. waitressing), any service charges, tips, gratuities and cover charges must be paid on top of a basic wage that satisfies the National Minimum Wage. As of October 2009, your employer cannot pay you less than the National Minimum Wage after deducting tips from your income.
About the author
Chris Bell is the developer of My Salary Calculator, an online financial tool for calculating your salary, income tax, national insurance, student loans and more. You can follow his finance related activities on twitter through @SalaryCalc.