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Pay is one of the most important factors in our working life. It's a sensitive subject - the way it's handled can have a big impact on morale and productivity. The challenge for most companies is to set consistent pay levels that give value for money while rewarding workers fairly.

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

Most workers are entitled to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage.

The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour most workers under the age of 25 are entitled to by law.

The government's National Living Wage (NLW) is the minimum pay per hour most workers aged 25 and over are entitled to by law.

The rate will depend on a worker's age and if they are an apprentice.


All employees are entitled to an individual written pay statement on or before the time they are paid. The statement must show gross pay and take-home pay, with amounts and reasons for all variable deductions.

Fixed deductions must also be shown, with detailed amounts and reasons. Alternatively, fixed deductions can be shown as a total sum, provided a written statement of these items is given to each employee in advance - or at the time of issue of the first pay statement showing the total sum. After this, a statement should be given at least once a year.

Non payment of wages

If there is a dispute relating to wages not being paid or itemised pay statement provisions, every effort should be made to resolve it in the workplace, with recourse to formal internal procedures if necessary. There is a deadline of three months for bringing a claim to an employment tribunal, although this may be paused with Early Conciliation.

Help for small firms on pay

Our guide on handling pay and wages is aimed at small firms and line or team managers in larger organisations. It offers steps you should consider following to prevent pay problems arising.

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