The hourly national minimum wage (NMW) is due to go through an overhaul in 2016, so employees and employers alike need to be prepared. Here’s a run-down of the current situation and what changes are heading your way.
Current Hourly National Minimum Wage
The hourly NMW varies depending on the age of the worker and whether they’re an apprentice or not. From October 2014 the current rate for workers (who are not apprentices) aged 21 and over is £6.50. For those aged 18 to 20, the minimum is £5.13. Under 18s should expect £3.79 per hour.
The NMW rate is £2.73 for apprentices aged under 19, and for apprentices 19 and over in their first year.
In July 2015, the government announced an increase to the hourly minimum wage for people aged 25 and over. The title for this particular rule is changing too – it’ll be known as the National Living Wage. By 2020, employers will need to pay a minimum of £9 per hour, with the first rise to £7.20 being introduced in April 2016.
Other age groups won’t be eligible for the new National Living Wage, but they will receive the annual increase, which rolls out every autumn. From October 2015 the hourly minimum wage will be:
- £6.20 for 21 years and over
- £5.30 for people between 18 and 20 years
- £3.87 for people from 16 to 17 years (above school leaving age but under 18)
- £3.30 for apprentices
Where to Get Advice
Regardless of employer size, by law all workers are entitled to at least this minimum pay per hour. This minimum wage calculator can be used to check whether employers are fulfilling their legal obligations. Also, if you need any help or advice, call the Pay and Work Rights Helpline.