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 2014, the rates have been:
- £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.
But from October 2015, the rates will be as follows:
- £6.70 for workers 21 and over
- £5.30 18 - 20 years
- £3.87 for 16-17 years, who are above school leaving age but under 18
- £3.30 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 2015, apply to pay reference periods beginning on or after that date.
National living wage
From April 2016, the national living wage will be £7.20 an hour for workers aged 25 and older. The minimum wage will still apply for workers aged 24 and under.
By Jo Nockels
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