I'm 16 and have got a Saturday retail job in the run up to Christmas. They only pay me £4.20 an hour, but my mate who's 18 gets £5.90. Is that right?

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) specifies the minimum amount that your employer has to pay you, but this varies according to your age, so older workers could well end up being paid more than you if your company is paying everyone the minimum.

Your mate is being paid the legal minimum for 18-year-olds as the NMW for workers aged 18 to 20 is currently £5.90 per hour (as of April 2018). The NMW for 16- and 17-year-olds starts lower at £4.20 per hour. NMW rates are reviewed on 1 April each year.  

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.

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