National Minimum Wages Changes

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the minimum amount of money per hour to which workers in the UK are entitled. It is reviewed yearly by the government, which is advised by the Low Pay Commission (an independent body). As of 1 April 2017, the National Minimum Wage will be increasing to the following amounts:

  • £7.50 for workers aged 25 or over
  • £7.05 for workers aged 21 to 24
  • £5.60 for workers aged 18-20
  • £4.05 for workers aged under 18
  • £3.50 for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over who are in the first year of apprenticeship.

The new pay rate will only affect workers’ pay from the first full pay reference period after that date. Similarly, if an employee has a birthday which means that they fall into a higher age category, the higher rate of pay only applies from the start of the pay reference period after their birthday.

All workers (including agency workers and casual workers) must receive at least the NMW. Self-employed people, volunteers, company directors and family members (or workers who live in the employer’s family home and undertake domestic tasks) are exempt.

Time spent travelling between a worker’s home and place of work will not usually count as time for which they are entitled to the NMW, however, time spent travelling between work assignments usually will.

The NMW should not be confused with the Living Wage. The latter is voluntary; it is set by the Living Wage Foundation, based on the cost of living in the UK.