Most workers in the UK over school leaving age are entitled to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW). There are no exemptions for smaller businesses; they should still pay their workers the NMW. The NMW tends to increase in October each year.
Since October 2013, the rates have been:
- £6.31 for workers 21 and over
- £5.03 18 - 20 years
- £3.72 for 16-17 years, who are above school leaving age but under 18
- £2.68 for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over who are in the first year of apprenticeship.
But from October 2014, the rates will be as follows:
- £6.50 for workers 21 and over
- £5.13 18 - 20 years
- £3.79 for 16-17 years, who are above school leaving age but under 18
- £2.73 for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over who are in the first year of apprenticeship.
It is important to note that these rates, which come into force 1 October 2014, apply to pay reference periods beginning on or after that date.