MOST workers in the UK are entitled to receive the National Minimum Wage, but the amount they are paid is dependent on age.
You must be at least school leaving age to get the National Minimum Wage but you’re entitled to it even if you just do part-time work.
The minimum wage in the UK increased in April, giving a pay rise to more than two million workers.
But what is the National Minimum Wage? We explain all you need to know.
What is the National Minimum Wage?
The National Minimum Wage is currently the amount workers under 23 (but of school-leaving age) are entitled to.
The first National Minimum Wage was set in 1998 by the Labour government.
Before that, no official rate existed although trade unions battled hard to fight their workers’ corner.
The National Minimum Wage was re-branded to the National Living Wage in 2016 for those over 23.
What is the National Minimum Wage for Under 25s
21 to 22-year-olds: £8.36
18 to 20-year-olds: £6.56
16 to 17-year-olds: £4.62
Apprentice rate: £4.30
Accommodation offset: £8.36
The amount changes every April – at the beginning of the new financial year – and has risen every year since the initiative was launched.
The National Living Wage, for workers aged 23 or over, is currently £8.91.
The full National Minimum Wage is £8.36 and applies to those aged 21-22.
For 18- to 20-year-olds, the minimum wage is £6.56, and for under 18s, it’s £4.62 an hour.
Meanwhile, the Apprenticeship Wage is currently £4.30.
Which workers qualify for the National Minimum Wage?
To qualify for the National Minimum wage you have to be of school leaving age, which is usually above 16.
You are eligible to receive the pay rate if you work full-time, part-time or as a casual labourer, for example someone hired for one day.
You could also be an agency worker or someone paid by the number of items you make.
Apprentices qualify for the National Minimum Wage, as well as trainees and staff still in their probationary period.
You are also entitled to the National Minimum Wage if you are a disabled worker.
Anyone who thinks they are not getting paid fairly should raise the issue with their employer in the first instance.
If this is not effective, the next step is to file a complaint on the government’s website.
Which workers do not qualify for the National Minimum Wage?
Those who are self-employed, voluntary workers, company directors and family members who live in the home of the employer and do household chores do not qualify for the minimum wage.
Au pairs, members of the armed forces and people on a government employment programme are also not entitled to the payment.
There is no difference in pay for those that live in London compared to elsewhere.
The only discrepancy is for people working in agriculture or horticulture.
Workers already employed before October 1, 2013, are entitled to the pay set under their contract of employment.
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