Employers in the UK must pay a National Minimum Wage to almost all workers. The minimum amount that should be paid by law varies according to the age of the employee. HM Revenue & Customs are responsible for the enforcement of the National Minimum Wage, and any employer found not to be compliant with the law may be charged penalties.
The rates for the National Minimum Wage are updated in October every year, with three aged based rates and one for apprentices. Apprentices who are aged below 19 years are paid a minimum of £2.60 per hour. If the apprentice is aged 19 or over, and on their first year of the apprenticeship, they will be paid £2.60 per hour. Once they have completed the first year, the hourly rate increases to the minimum amount for their age.
Employees who are aged 21 or above are paid £6.08 per hour. If an employee is aged 18 to 20 years old, they will be paid £4.98 per hour. If an employee is above the compulsory school age, but below 18 they will receive £3.68 per hour.
Almost all workers in the UK are entitled by law to receive the National Minimum Wage, unless they are self employed or are children who are still at the compulsory school age. All employees are entitled to the National Minimum Wage whether they are part time, full time, permanent or temporary workers. Most payments made to an employee will count towards the National Minimum Wage, although there are some that don’t count.
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