UK to Raise Minimum Wage by 9.8% in 2024
Workspan Daily
December 01, 2023

The United Kingdom will increase its minimum wage by 9.8% to 11.44 pounds ($14.26) an hour in April 2024, making it one of the highest as a share of average hourly earnings of any advanced economy, Reuters reports.  

Finance minister Jeremy Hunt announced the increase on the eve of delivering a mid-year budget update which is expected to reduce taxation and put greater requirements on those out of work to seek employment or face losing benefits. 

“The National Living Wage has helped halve the number of people on low pay since 2010,” Hunt said on Tuesday. 

The big rise in the minimum wage comes as the Bank of England warns that the current pace of wage growth in the broader economy, which reached around 8% earlier this year, would make it hard to return inflation to its 2% target, Reuters noted.  

In 2022, the the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimated Britain's minimum wage was equivalent to 58% of full-time earnings, the third-highest in western Europe after Portugal and France. 

Around 2.7 million workers will benefit directly from the increases, the government said. 

As part of the changes, workers aged 21 and 22 will be entitled to the full minimum wage for the first time, while lower rates paid to workers aged 18 to 20 and apprentices will also increase. 

The Low Pay Commission, an expert panel which advises the government on minimum wage increases, said the arguments around the upcoming increase were "finely balanced." 

“As last year, businesses felt pressured to pass National Living Wage increases onto consumers. More are worried this year that they are reaching a limit in what they can pass through without undermining demand,” the commission said. 

UAW Launches Campaign at Non-Unionized Automakers  

The United Autoworkers Union is launching a campaign to organize 13 non-unionized automakers as it bids to extend its momentum from recent labor negotiations with Detroit’s Big Three automakers, Axios reports.  

The union announced Wednesday that it’s targeting nearly 150,000 workers across 13 automakers: BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Lucid, Mazda, Mercedes, Nissan, Rivian, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.  

“When we return to the bargaining table in 2028, it won’t just be with the Big Three but with the Big Five or Big Six,” UAW president Shawn Fain said.  

Axios reported that employees at multiple Toyota plans are coordinating efforts with the UAW to unionize their operations. Organizers are already collecting union authorization cards through a UAW-sanctioned website, where they’re critical of corporate profits and executive compensation at non-unionized companies.  

Toyota was one of several automakers that proactively increased pay for non-unionized workers immediately following the UAW’s labor negotiations with Detroit’s Big Three.  

British Columbia Introducing Minimum Wage for App-Based Gig Workers 

British Columbia is introducing new protections for ride-hailing and food delivery app workers, including a minimum wage, compensation for expenses and other standards, Benefits Canada reports.  

A minimum hourly wage of $20.10, which is $3.35 more than the current general wage, would apply for gig worker’s “engaged time,” beginning when they accept an assignment to the time of completion.  

The rules will also require ride-hail and food deliver platform companies to clarify the amount that drivers will earn on each assignment they accept, Labour Minister Harry Bains said. 

The new pay standard, which doesn’t include tips, puts a 20% premium on top of the general minimum wage to account for the time that gig workers spend waiting for assignments. 

Bains said the new regulations will give drivers coverage under WorkSafeBC, which prohibits platform companies from withholding tips and establish compensation standards for costs such as using a personal vehicle. 

The rules, which will require new legislation to implement, are the result of consultation with app-based workers, platform companies, labor groups and business associations. The regulations are expected to be finalized in early 2024. 

Report: Fewer Black Professionals Are Getting Promoted Into Management  

Organizations in the United States have lost momentum in promoting Black professionals into management, according to a study from McKinsey & Co.  

After the May 2020 murder of George Floyd initiated a national conversation about race, equity and opportunity, many America organizations set ambitious goals to advance Black talent in their ranks. McKinsey’s data indicates they have made strides in hiring and promoting more Black professionals, but on the first promotion to management, the data shows U.S. companies are no longer elevating Black professionals at the higher rate of a couple years ago and have reverted to nearly the same promotion rates from 2019.  

James D. White, the former CEO of Jamba who now serves as board chair of the Honest Co., told the Wall Street Journal that the promotion data confirm what he has been hearing from Black professionals. “There is a really dramatic kind of pushback and retreat that I’ve seen in lots of places as it relates to the focus on Black men and Black women in the workforce.” 

In its analysis, McKinsey used promotion rates from more than 270 companies that, together, employ more than 10 million people. The firm adjusted the population of each group to equal size to make an apples-to-apples comparison of their rates of promotion. 

The data show that, for every 100 men of all races promoted into their first management role in 2022, 54 Black women were elevated. In other words, they were promoted at about half the rate as all men. In 2021, though, the rate was nearly double that, with 96 Black women promoted for every 100 men, approaching close to parity for a brief time. 

First-time promotion rates for Black men have also fallen, dropping to 66 promotions for every 100 men of any race elevated into a first management role in 2022. That is down from 72 Black men promoted for every 100 men in 2021. White men and women, meanwhile, were promoted at relatively high rates consistently between 2019 and 2022. 

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