The National Minimum Wage Act specifies the minimum rates of pay applicable nationwide.
Here are the National Minimum Wage rates in force from 1 April 2017:
- £7.50 an hour for workers aged 25 and older (the government calls this rate the "National Living Wage" rate;
- £7.05 an hour for workers aged 21 to 24;
- £5.60 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20; and
- £4.05 an hour for workers aged 16 to 17.
There is also a separate apprenticeship rate for apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year of apprenticeship (after which the normal age bands set out above apply). From 1 April 2017, the apprenticeship rate is £3.50 an hour.
An employer providing accommodation can count some of its value towards the National Minimum Wage – up to £6.40 per day or £44.80 per week (from 1 April 2017). This is known as the "accommodation offset".
Tips, service charges, gratuities and cover charges are additional to the basic rate of NMW, and must not be included by employers to top pay up to the NMW rate for their employees. (However, you may be liable for income tax on tips, and sometimes National Insurance contributions as well).
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.