Checking your pay
Use the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage calculator on GOV.UK to check if:
- you're getting paid the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage
- you've been paid correctly in previous years
On average, you must get the minimum wage for each 'pay reference period' (the period of time your pay covers).
You work out your average hourly rate using:
- your 'gross' (total) pay each time you're paid
- how many hours you worked for that pay
For example, you're paid weekly, work 40 hours a week and your weekly salary is £420 (before tax is taken out). You're 24 years old and not an apprentice.
Your average hourly rate is £10.50 (£420 divided by 40). This is above the minimum wage for a worker aged 24.
What does not count towards the minimum wage
Some parts of your pay do not count towards minimum wage. These parts include:
- tips and gratuities
- premium payments (for example, extra pay for working bank holidays or overtime)
- a loan from your employer
- a pay advance
Example of when a part of your pay does not count towards minimum wage
You're 22 years old and not an apprentice. You're paid weekly and work 40 hours a week.
Your total weekly pay before tax is usually £500. This usually includes £100 in tips, so you'll need to use £400 as the starting point to work out if you're getting the minimum wage.
Your average hourly rate is £10 (£400 divided by 40). This is below the minimum wage for a worker aged 22. Your employer needs to pay you at least £10.18 an hour not including tips.
Commission counts towards minimum wage.
Your total pay including commission must give you the minimum wage each time you're paid.
Your employer must 'top up' your pay if you have not made enough commission to earn the minimum wage.
What can be deducted from the minimum wage
Your employer is allowed to make some deductions that could leave you with less than the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage in your take-home pay. This includes:
- tax and National Insurance contributions
- paying back an advance or overpayment
- pension contributions
- trade union fees
- a charge for accommodation provided by your employer (see accommodation rate information on GOV.UK)
What cannot be deducted from the minimum wage
Some pay deductions and work-related expenses cannot reduce your pay below the minimum wage.
- travel costs (except getting to and from work)
- training courses
For example, you might be required to buy a uniform for work. This is allowed as long as your total pay minus the uniform cost is still above the minimum wage.
For more detailed information about what can and cannot be deducted, see calculating the minimum wage on GOV.UK.