National Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage is the minimum amount a person is entitled to earn per hour during a particular period of employment. The amount a person can lawfully earn varies depending on how old they are, beginning from age 16 – also referred to as ‘school-leaving age’. Anyone enrolled in an apprenticeship scheme is also entitled to receive a minimum amount of money per working hour. These rates are revised on an annual basis in October, which means they remain fair and just in accordance with changing living rates. The following table shows the current National Minimum Wage rates, which have been in force since October 2015 and will be subject to change in October 2016. Rates from the previous four years are also listed, showing how they have increased since 2010.

Year 21 and over 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
Current rates April 2019 £7.70 £6.15 £4.35 £3.90
April 2018 to March 2019 £7.38 £5.90 £4.20 £3.70
April 2017 to March 2018 £7.05 £5.60 £4.05 £3.50
October 2016 to March 2017 £6.95 £5.55 £4.00 £3.40
2016 £6.70 £5.30 £3.87 £3.30
2015 £6.70 £5.30 £3.87 £3.30
2014 £6.50 £5.13 £3.79 £2.73
2013 £6.31 £5.03 £3.72 £2.68
2012 £6.19 £4.98 £3.68 £2.65
2011 £6.08 £4.98 £3.68 £2.60
2010 £5.93 £4.92 £3.64 £2.50

The Apprentice National Minimum Wage rate is for apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year of apprentice study. All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their age bracket. For example, a 20-year-old in the second year of an apprenticeship scheme would be entitled to a minimum wage of £5.30 per hour during their period of employment. National Living Wage From April 2016, a new National Living Wage rate will be introduced for anyone aged 25 and over. This rate is set at £7.20 per hour, and may be subject to change along with the National Minimum Wage rates in October 2016. Previous National Minimum Wage rates The laws for National Minimum Wage rates have changed since 2010. Before then, the age brackets for each rate differed, and anyone involved in an apprenticeship scheme was not entitled to earn a minimum basic wage per hour.

Year 22 and over 18 to 21 Under 18
2009 £5.80 £4.83 £3.57
2008 £5.73 £4.77 £3.53
2007 £5.52 £4.60 £3.40
2006 £5.35 £4.45 £3.30
2005 £5.05 £4.25 £3.00

The National Minimum Wage rate is enforced by law, and employers are obliged to pay their employees no less than the amount they are entitled to – find out who is entitled to the minimum wage and use the National Minimum Wage calculator to determine whether you are being paid what you are lawfully owed. If you do not think you are being paid the National Minimum Wage despite being entitled to it, call the Acas Helpline for free and confidential advice on employment rights.

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