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 2015, the rates have been:
- £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
But from October 2016, the rates will be as follows:
- £6.95 for workers 21 to 24 years
- £5.55 18 - 20 years
- £4.00 for 16-17 years, who are above school leaving age but under 18
- £3.40 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 1st October 2016, apply to pay reference periods beginning on or after that date.
National Living Wage
In April 2016, the National Living Wage was introduced at £7.20 an hour for workers aged 25 and older.
The National Minimum Wage still applies to workers aged 24 and under.
By Jo Nockels
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