National Minimum Wage

Many businesses are unaware that the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rules are monitored by HMRC. There are consequences if you fail to pay employees NMW rates.

Currently, the rates set 1st October 2013 apply. They are:

  • 21 and over – £6.31 per hour
  • 18 to 20 – £5.03 per hour
  • Under 18 – £3.72 per hour
  • Apprentice – £2.68 per hour*

 *This rate for apprentices is for the under 19s or those in their first year. Apprentices over 19 years and past their first year qualify for the rate appropriate to their age.

The following notes are copied from the GOV.UK website.

Employees entitled to the NMW are:

Workers must be school leaving age or over to get the minimum wage. (They must turn 16 by the last Friday in June of the school year)

Contracts for payments below the minimum wage are not legally binding. The worker is still entitled to the minimum wage.

Workers are also entitled to the minimum wage if they are:

  • part-time
  • casual labourers, e.g. someone hired for 1 day
  • agency workers
  • workers and home workers paid by the number of items they make
  • apprentices
  • trainees, workers on probation
  • disabled workers
  • agricultural workers
  • foreign workers
  • seafarers
  • offshore workers

And don’t forget that apprentices under 19 or in their first year get an apprentice rate.