What is the minimum wage
By law, your employer must pay a minimum amount on average for the hours you work. This is called the:
- National Living Wage (NLW) if you're aged 23 or over
- National Minimum Wage (NMW) if you're aged under 23 or an apprentice
The National Living Wage was previously for those aged over 25. From 1 April 2021, it also applies to those aged 23 and 24.
|Wage band||Current rate (from 1 April 2021)|
Age 23 and over (National Living Wage)
|Age 21 to 22||£8.36|
|Age 18 to 20||£6.56|
The government reviews minimum wage rates every year and they're usually updated in April. See when rate increases must be paid.
Previous rates for 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021
|Wage band||Previous rate (1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021)|
|Age 25 and over (National Living Wage)||£8.72|
|Age 21 to 24||£8.20|
|Age 18 to 20||£6.45|
Who gets the apprentice rate
You're entitled to the apprentice rate if you're an apprentice aged:
- under 19
- 19 or over, and in the first year of your current apprenticeship agreement
If you're 19 or over and have completed the first year of your current apprenticeship, you're entitled to the minimum wage for your age.