The Low Pay Commission (LPC) has recommended to ministers that the minimum wage should increase by 3% to £6.70 an hour.
The national minimum wage is currently set at £6.50 for adults. If ministers agree with the LPC’s recommendations the minimum wage will increase from October this year
The LPC has also recommended that the minimum wage for 18- to 20-year-olds increases to £5.30 (from £5.13) and to £3.87 (from £3.72) for 16- to 17-year-olds.
Apprentices will also benefit from the wage rise, with their hourly rate increasing by 2.5% to £2.80 (from £2.73).
The recommended increases would be the largest rise in eight years.
Business secretary Vince Cable said: “If this recommendation were accepted, the value of the minimum wage would be higher than when we came to office in 2010, and we are now making good progress towards restoring the value it lost during the financial crisis.”
Commenting on the LPC’s recommendations, CBI deputy director-general Katja Hall said she welcomed the commission’s “careful balance”.
She added: “Any artificial increase due to political expediency will help no-one and ultimately damage one of the most successful government policies in recent years.”
Named and shamed
The government has named and shamed 70 companies that have failed to pay their staff the national minimum wage.
These include East Midlands Crossroads, which owes £37,500 to 184 workers, and Delcom Systems in Salisbury, which owes £11,730.
Business minister Jo Swinson said “naming and shaming” gives a “clear warning” to employers of the reputational and financial consequences of not paying the minimum wage.