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National Minimum Wage



 A national minimum wage ensures that workers can count on their minimum pay rate for the hours that they work. These rates are set by the Low Pay Commission operating since 1999; changes have been made to these rates annually. It is extremely important for all the employers to have maximum knowledge of the National Minimum Wage. In addition, these rates are enforced by a network of 16 teams of National Compliance Officers for Minimum Wage and a telephone hotline that employees can call if they are not receiving their National Minimum Wage. An employer needs to make sure that he is paying his employees the National Minimum Wage; hence he is following the law and will not be subject to a complaint, or charges.The national minimum wage must be considered at the time when the company is hiring the employees.

The minimum wage law was first established in United States in 1938. Since then, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has raised the minimum wage rate to $7.25. This act was designed to protect the rights of employees and employers and encourage 'fair play' between the management and labor. This act established laws for national minimum wage, created overtime pay and installed regulations for minors in the workplace. On top of that, many individual states have legislated amounts that are higher than the national standard for minimum wage and are called minimum wage by state.

Minimum wage laws stipulate the lowest hourly minimum wages that an employee can legally get from his employer. Presently, around 90 percent of countries worldwide employ a minimum wage rate. Minimum wage laws ensure that the workers can afford the basic necessities of life and help to reduce exploitation of lower class and younger workers.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes wage and labor laws on Federal standards concerning overtime, minimum wage, and record keeping. It includes parameters including what category of employees are exempt from minimum wage requirements and who are not, laws and regulations for overtime pay and policies for minors.

According to FLSA, overtime is defined as over 40 hours worked in a standardized workweek. This workweek is considered a fixed and recurring period of 168 hours, in other words, seven consecutive 24-hour periods. It is described in complete details that an employer cannot average two or more workweeks to determine overtime for its employees. That is, working 25 hours one week and 55 hours another week does not legally average to two 40-hour workweeks; non-exempt employees would be entitled to 15 hours of overtime for the latter.