Cambridge & District Citizens Advice is urging people to check next month’s payslip to see if they receive the new National Living Wage, as today a new rate of £7.20 will be introduced for workers aged 25 and over. Research undertaken for the government’s Step Up for Britain campaign reveals 41 per cent of employees in the East of England never check their payslips, which is the highest rate for the whole of the UK.

Workers can visit www.livingwage.gov.uk to check that they are eligible for the National Living Wage. You can use the website’s online calculator to see how much more you will be paid. If you do not receive the extra amount of pay that you are owed, speak to your boss, Acas or your local Citizens Advice Bureau for advice.

Rachel Talbot, CEO at Cambridge & District Citizens Advice, said:

“It is great news that the minimum wage is increasing for low paid workers in Cambridge and we are urging workers to check their payslips next month. At Cambridge & District Citizens Advice, the most common employment issue we help people with relates to problems with pay so we are well placed to help you if you do not receive the correct wage.

“Whilst we welcome how the concept of the Living Wage has been enshrined in law and policy, we do not feel that this goes far enough. We are finding it harder and harder to balance budgets to help households make ends meet, and many of these households are in work.

“We are accredited by the Living Wage Foundation for paying a minimum rate that is truly calculated according to cost of living. This is independently calculated by GLA Economics and the Centre for Research in Social Policy. We will continue to campaign for a minimum wage that reflects living costs.”

The government’s Step Up For Britain campaign was launched in January to highlight the introduction of the National Living Wage on 1 April. More than one million workers are set to directly benefit from the increase, which sees the current National Minimum Wage rate of £6.70 increase by 50p for those aged 25 and over with smaller increases for under 25 year-olds and apprentices. Many people aged 25 and on a full time wage will see pay packets rise by up to £900 a year.

So far, more than 580,000 people have visited the Step Up for Britain campaign website to find out what the increase will mean for workers and employers.

The government’s survey also revealed that 80 per cent of workers were likely to speak to their employers if they don’t get an increase.

Across the UK, the survey showed those most likely to have a conversation lived in the North-East (90 per cent), followed by the East of England (84 per cent).

Stewart Gee, Head of Information and Guidance at Acas, said:

"Eligible workers should check what they are entitled to under these new changes and employers need to ensure that they are ready too.

"We are running a series of training events over the next few months to help organisations prepare for the new wage rates."