Who is entitled to minimum pay?

Nearly all workers aged 16 and over, including part-time workers, fixed-term workers, agency workers, casuals, those working on 'zero hours' contracts and homeworkers, are entitled to the National Minimum Wage. Anyone who is legally obliged to do work for another person is entitled to the National Minimum Wage, except for a small number of excluded groups. Amongst those who do not qualify for the National Minimum Wage are:

  • members of the armed forces;
  • family members working in the family business;
  • people working and living as part of a family; and
  • genuine volunteers.

Some interns will qualify for the National Minimum Wage. This will depend on whether they are legally obliged to do some work during their internship. For more information, see our page on Interns' Rights.

Different hourly rates apply for different workers depending on their age:

  • 16- and 17-year-olds get a lower rate of £4.05.
  • People aged 18 to 20 get £5.60.
  • Those aged 21 to 24 get £7.05.
  • Those aged 25 or over get £7.50. This is known as the ‘national living wage’, introduced by the government in April 2016.

There is also another hourly rate of £3.40 for apprentices who are aged under 19, or who are aged 19 or over and are in the first year of their apprenticeship. This rises to £3.50 in April 2017.

Check whether you're entitled to the National Minimum Wage and find more information on how much you can expect with our Minimum Wage Calculator.

The National Minimum Wage rate changes each year in April. You can find the latest rates on GOV.UK.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.