The UK’s employment landscape is changing and the increase in the National Living Wage (NLW) in April isn’t just a ripple, it’s a significant shift in the way we work and recruit. As recruitment experts, we understand the importance of staying ahead of the curve and helping our clients navigate this evolving terrain. So, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of the NLW hike, its implications, and how you can capitalize on this new chapter in UK employment.

But first, let’s start with a quick refresher…

The NLW isn’t just another wage floor, it’s a commitment to ensuring a decent standard of living for all. Simply put, it’s the minimum hourly wage that employers must pay workers aged 23 and over. It’s distinct from the National Minimum Wage (NMW), which applies to younger workers and apprentices. The NLW aims to ensure that a full-time worker can afford a basic standard of living, including housing, food, and essential bills.

So, what’s the big deal about the 2024 increase?

The NLW is set to rise by a significant 9.7% to £11.44 per hour in April. This marks the largest single increase in the NLW’s history and will undoubtedly have a profound effect on the job market. It applies to workers aged 23 and over, offering a vital safety net and boosting financial security across the nation.

So, what does this mean in practical terms? 

Imagine Sarah, a dedicated customer service advisor currently earning £10.42 per hour. With the new NLW coming into effect, Sarah’s hourly rate will jump to £11.44. If she works a standard 35-hour week, that translates to a weekly boost of £35.70, or a massive £1,856.40 more per year! That’s enough to significantly impact her quality of life, maybe helping with childcare costs, affording a long-awaited gym membership, or finally planning a family holiday.

Of course, the impact extends beyond individual pockets. Businesses across the board will need to adapt, recalibrate their compensation models, and potentially reassess staffing needs. But it’s not a gloomy picture! The rise in the NLW also presents a wealth of opportunities…

  • Enhanced employee satisfaction: Higher wages lead to happier, more engaged workers, boosting productivity and reducing turnover.
  • Improved diversity and inclusion: The NLW disproportionately benefits lower-paid workers, often from underrepresented groups. This can pave the way for a more diverse and inclusive workforce, enriching companies and communities alike.
  • Innovation and automation: Many businesses have begun to streamline operations and leverage technology to offset the rising labour costs, paving the way for more efficient operations.
  • Boost consumer spending: With more money in people’s pockets, economic activity is likely to increase, benefitting businesses across the board.
  • Reduce poverty: By ensuring a more decent standard of living, the NLW can help lift individuals and families out of poverty.

The Road Ahead

As a recruitment partner to our clients, we play a pivotal role in the evolving employment landscape, making sure we and our clients understand the implications of the new NLW and adapt practices accordingly. Here’s how we can help you navigate the NLW shift:

  • Salary benchmarking: We can provide insights into how the NLW increase will impact salaries across different industries and job roles.
  • Talent acquisition strategies: We can help you attract and retain talent in a market where NLW compliance will be increasingly important.
  • Compensation and benefits review: We can help you ensure your compensation and benefits packages are competitive and compliant with the new NLW.

The bottom line

The rise in the National Living Wage is a significant development for the UK’s employment landscape. By understanding its implications and proactively adapting your strategies, you can not only ensure compliance but also capitalise on the opportunities it presents.

At Halo Resourcing, we’re here to guide you through this exciting new chapter, helping you attract and retain the best talent and build a thriving business in the years to come. Get in touch with our team on 01908 229589 or email