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National Minimum Wage




National Minimum Wage


The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is a minimum amount per hour that most workers in the UK are entitled to be paid. Find out what the current rates are and where to get help if you think you are being paid below the minimum wage rate.


Current National Minimum Wage Rates


There are different levels of NMW, depending on your age and whether you are an apprentice. The current rates are:



21+ 18y - 20 Under 18 Apprentice*

From 1st Oct 2013 £6.31 £5.03 £3.72 £2.68
2012 - 1st Oct 2013 £6.19 £4.98 £3.68 £2.65

*The rates shown are for apprentices under the age of 19 or for those who are in their first year. If you are 19 or older and have completed your first year as an apprentice then you are entitled to the standard rate for your age.

If you are of compulsory school age you are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage. Some of your other employment rights are also different.


Entitlement to the National Minimum Wage


Most workers in the UK over school leaving age are legally entitled to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage and all employers have to pay it to you if you are entitled to it. It makes no difference:

  • if you are paid weekly or monthly, by cheque, in cash or in another way

  • if you work full time, part time or any other working pattern

  • if you work at your employer’s own premises or elsewhere

  • what size your employer is

  • where you work in the UK


You are entitled to the National Minimum Wage even if you sign a contract agreeing to be paid at a lower rate. This is regardless of whether you sign of your own free will or because your employer persuades or makes you. The contract will have no legal effect and you must still be paid the proper rate.


If you have been paid below the National Minimum Wage you may be able to make a claim through an employment tribunal. Please contact an employment solicitor for further information.



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