National Living Wage uplifts are proof that government is a minimum wage employer

Thousands of PCS members will be affected by the changes to the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage that take effect from 1 April. 

For years PCS has campaigned against chronically low pay, with several thousand members falling below the National Living Wage (NLW) and occasionally the National Minimum Wage (NMW) every April. PCS believes it is unacceptable that thousands of members will only get a pay rise because their pay is so low. This underlines how the government has failed to address low pay and has become a minimum wage employer.

In the 2023 Autumn Statement, chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that the National Living Wage would increase from 1 April 2024, and will expand to include 21 and 22 year olds.

From April 1 this year, the National Living Wage will increase by 9.8%, from £10.42 to £11.44 per hour, and is applicable to UK workers aged 21 and over.

Two of PCS’s largest groups, DWP and HMRC, have thousands of members who will receive pay uplifts to meet the National Living Wage and there are thousands more in other employer groups.


There are 24,600 AA and AO members in the DWP that will have to have their pay uplifted to meet the legal requirement of all employers to pay the National Living Wage. This constitutes 27% of the DWP workforce.

In every year since 2020, the pay of the current 46,000 EO employees, who are empowered to make decisions on behalf of the Secretary of State, has also edged closer to the National Living wage as they receive below-inflation pay rises.


HMRC has confirmed that more than 18,300 members of staff in the department will receive a pay uplift on 1 April 2024 to keep them in line with the government’s National Living Wage.

This represents all staff working in the AA and AO grades outside London, around 28% of the total workforce.

This includes almost 14,300 staff working in HMRC’s customer services, whose job is to provide responses to detailed and often complex tax queries from the businesses and the public.

Pay rates in HMRC have stagnated so much that the National Living Wage is now only around £3,000 below the starting pay for HMRC’s ‘Officer’ grade – a management grade in the department.

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