What is the minimum wage in the UK?

What is the minimum wage in the UK

Not sure about current minimum wage rates?

To ensure you are paid exactly what you’re entitled to, it’s always important to keep up-to-date with any changes around salaries.

Here’s a quick guide to the minimum wage you can expect to earn:

What is minimum wage?

National Minimum Wage is the minimum payment (per hour) you are entitled to earn in any industry.

It is set by the government and all employers, regardless of size, are legally required to provide its workers with the agreed amount.

If they don’t, it is considered as a criminal offence.

Is minimum wage available to everyone?

In order to qualify for the National Minimum Wage, all workers must be of school leaving age or over.

Minimum Wage will also apply for any of the following:

  • Part-time workers
  • Temporary workers
  • Disabled workers
  • Agricultural workers
  • Workers from overseas
  • Apprentices (who receive a slightly separate apprentice rate)
  • Causal labourers

However, National Minimum Wage is not available for anyone working in a self-employed capacity, company directors, voluntary workers, members of the armed forces or those on work placements.

For a full list of those able to claim, consult the gov.uk website.

What’s the current rate?

Ok, so the most important thing to remember is how much you can earn.

The amount you are entitled to will vary depending on your age, and whether you are working as an apprentice.

Current rates are as follows:

  • For those aged 23 and over, the hourly rate is £8.91 (now known as the National Living Wage)
  • For those aged between 21 and 22, the hourly rate is £8.36
  • For those aged between 18 and 20, the hourly rate is £6.56
  • For those aged under 18, the hourly rate is £4.62
  • For apprentices aged between 16 and 18 (or those aged over nineteen, who are in their first year), the hourly rate will be £4.30.

However, it’s important to remember that these figures are intended for guideline purposes only. The actual amount will change every year (usually around April/October time), so it’s always worth keeping up-to-date to ensure you don’t get underpaid.

What if you’re not sure how much you can get?

If you’re still not sure exactly what minimum wage you’re entitled to, there are many calculators out there to help you work it out.

gov.uk’s National Minimum Wage calculator is an excellent starting point, and should point you in the right direction if you think you’re earning the wrong amount.

* Please note, the information outlined above is intended for general guidance purposes only, and is subject to change at any time. This article was last updated in April 2021.

For more detailed information about minimum wage, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates.