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What are the national minimum wage rates?

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is a minimum amount per hour that most workers in the UK are entitled to be paid. Find out what the current rates are and where to get help if you think you are being paid below the minimum wage rate.

Current NMW rates

There are different levels of NMW, depending on your age and whether you are an apprentice. The current rates (from 1 October 2011) are:

£6.08 - the main rate for workers aged 21 and over
£4.98 - the 18-20 rate
£3.68 - the 16-17 rate for workers above school leaving age but under 18
£2.60 - the apprentice rate, for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

Rates from 1 October 2012

£6.19 - the main rate for workers aged 21 and over
£4.98 - the 18-20 rate
£3.68 - the 16-17 rate for workers above school leaving age but under 18
£2.65 - the apprentice rate, for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

Entitlement to the NMW

Most workers in the UK over school leaving age are legally entitled to be paid at least the NMW and all employers have to pay it to you if you are entitled to it. It makes no difference:

  • if you are paid weekly or monthly, by cheque, in cash or in another way
  • if you work full time, part time or any other working pattern
  • if you work at your employer’s own premises or elsewhere
  • what size your employer is
  • where you work in the UK

You are entitled to the NMW even if you sign a contract agreeing to be paid at a lower rate. This is regardless of whether you sign of your own free will or because your employer persuades or makes you. The contract will have no legal effect and you must still be paid the proper rate.

If you are not sure if you should be paid at least the NMW read the 'Workers entitled to the National Minimum Wage' and 'Who is not entitled to the National Minimum Wage' pages.

Where to get help

The Pay and Work Rights Helpline gives confidential help and advice on the NMW and can handle calls in over 100 languages. If you aren’t being paid the NMW you can contact the Pay and Work Rights Helpline or use the online enquiry or complaint form.

Source:DirectGov

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Replies

  • PRO

    The national minimum wage is to rise by 12p an hour to £6.31 for adults and by 5p to £5.03 for 18-to-20-year-olds from October, the government has announced.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22153007

  • PRO

    Current rates

    These rates are for the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage. The rates change every April.


    Apprentices
     are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re either:Apprentices

    • aged under 19
    • aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

    ExampleAn apprentice aged 22 in the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £3.40

    Apprentices are entitled to the minimum wage for their age if they both:

    • are aged 19 or over
    • have completed the first year of their apprenticeship

    ExampleAn apprentice aged 22 who has completed the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £6.95

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