What is the minimum wage that I am entitled to?

The National Minimum Wage Act specifies the minimum rates of pay applicable nationwide. The National Minimum Wage is revised every year in April.

Here are the current hourly rates of the National Minimum Wage, as of April 2017:

  • £7.50 for workers aged 25 and over. The government calls this the ‘National Living Wage’ rate. It was introduced from 1 April 2016.
  • £7.05 for workers aged 21 to 24.
  • £5.60 for workers aged 18 to 20 (called the ‘Youth Development Rate’).
  • £4.05 for workers aged 16 to 17.

There is also a special apprenticeship rate. This rate applies to apprentices aged 16 to 18 and to those aged 19 or over who are in the first year of their apprenticeship. The current apprenticeship hourly rate is £3.50. For an employer to be allowed to pay the apprenticeship rate, there must be a valid Apprenticeship Agreement in place.

There are special rules for some workers, for example workers provided with accommodation.

A worker’s basic pay must comply with the National Minimum Wage. That basic pay can then be used to produce an enhanced rate for different shifts – for example ‘time-and-a-half’. However, the enhanced rate cannot be used as a basis to work out whether the National Minimum Wage has been paid.

Following a successful union campaign, tips and gratuities do not count towards the sums due under the National Minimum Wage.

There is no right to be paid on your rest break under the National Minimum Wage Regulations. Some workers have a separate contractual right to pay on their rest break.

You can check whether you're entitled to the National Minimum Wage, at which rate, and how much you can expect with our Minimum Wage Calculator.

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.