National Living Wage Increase 2024

Posted by: Kerri
Posted on: 21/03/2024

With the imminent National Living Wage increase set to impact businesses up and down the UK, we take a look at the affects it may have and what role QS Recruitment will take in assisting both job seekers and employers.

What is the National Living Wage?

In April 2024 the UK is set to see the highest increase to the National Living Wage for over a decade, an increase of nearly 10% from £10.42 per hour (for those aged 23 and over) to £11.44.

Taking recommendation from The Low Pay Commission, the large increase has been propelled by the current cost of living crisis, with the Department for Business and Trade stating that an estimated 2.7 million workers will benefit from the increase.

National Living Wage – Should 18 to 20 year olds be paid less?

The second big announcement made by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt was the lowering of the age bracket to receive the £11.44 increase from 23 to 21. For those aged between 18 and 20, they will see an increase in their hourly wage from the current £7.49 to £8.60. Though this is also a substantial increase, it still sits £2.84 per hour below the £11.44 that those aged 21 and up will receive.

Whilst this is positive news for 21 and 22 years olds, the question as to whether 18 to 20 year olds should receive a lower rate remains a topic of debate. Critics argue that young adults can still be subject to the same living expenses and therefore also require the higher wages to cover basic necessities.

At QS Recruitment we have always placed equal value on all our workers, believing that they should receive the same hourly wage, their age being irrelevant. This is a standpoint that we have always upheld, and it will not change in the wake of the upcoming wage hike.

Arguments for a lower hourly rate for 18 to 20 year olds are based around the idea that younger workers are at risk of being overlooked for more senior and experienced workers and a lower pay rate, in theory, will make them more attractive to potential employers.

QS Recruitment are committed to equality and will never discriminate against any of our younger workers in terms of both pay rate and volume of work. All our workers will be paid at a minimum rate of £11.44 with no detrimental impact on the amount of work offered to them.

Rising wage bills

Whilst many workers may welcome this increase, there will undoubtedly be some concern amongst employers facing a rising wage bill, which, for some companies will stretch into the millions.

We understand these cost rises are prohibitive to our clients and as such have followed the government instructions to only pass on the ‘on costs’ that arise due to the National Living Wage increase.

Many businesses will find themselves in the challenging position of introducing the higher pay rates whilst ensuring quality levels are not affected and economic viability is maintained.

QS Recruitment can offer companies vital flexibility within their cash flow. As business needs fluctuate, our recruitment efforts can be adjusted in response. This gives companies the facility to increase or decrease staffing levels as required, as a consequence only spending money on labour when it is actually needed.

We also take on the responsibility of advertising, recruiting and payroll costs, again allowing companies to budget funds into other much needed areas.

Whether extra staffing is required as a result of seasonal demand, because of holiday cover or due to company expansion, QS can offer viable staffing support without long term commitments.


In a market where employers are already facing recruitment difficulties, many companies believe that this upcoming rise will have a big impact on those roles that have historically always been harder to fill.

Given our expertise within the recruitment market and our access to numerous recruitment tools, partnering with QS will give any business a competitive advantage within, what can only be described as, an unstable labour market.

Working within the logistics, warehousing, engineering and office sectors, QS can offer help for temporary assignments, short term contracts or permanent roles. If you would like to know more about our services, take a look at our website.

Operating on tighter margins will undoubtedly add financial pressure, with many companies struggling to absorb the rising costs. Whilst the rate increase is a positive move to support poverty within the UK, it is very likely that ripple effects will be seen through increases in retail prices and potentially longer wait times in various industries.


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