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Today, 1st October 2010, sees a number of changes in respect of the UK national minimum wage (NMW) regulations. From today the age at which UK workers become eligible for the full rate drops from 22 to 21 and the rate itself increases from £5.80 per hour to £5.93.

The hourly rate for workers aged between 18 and 20 increases from £4.83 to £4.92; and the rate to be paid to workers aged under 18 who have ceased to be of compulsory school age rises from £3.57 to £3.64 per hour.

Apprentices who are either aged under 19, or who are over 19 and in the first year of their apprenticeship, who did not previously qualify for the NMW, will in future be entitled to an hourly rate of £2.50.

The Department for Business estimates that about 85,000 21-year-olds will be affected by the change and admits that the cost to business, charities or voluntary bodies will be about £48.2 million and will see many young people enjoying a 22.8% pay increase. 

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