The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour almost all workers are entitled to. The National Living Wage is higher than the National Minimum Wage - workers get it if they’re over 25. 


It doesn’t matter how small an employer is, they still have to pay the correct minimum wage.


Both 'The National Minimum Wage' and 'National Living Wage' rates are set to increase for payments made on or after the 6th April 2018 so it's vital you check, in advance that you will be meeting your legislative requirement as an employer to pay your employees correctly.


The minimum wage you must pay to your employees is based on their age band and also if they are an apprentice.


Your employee needs to be at the school leaving age and this depends on your geographical location as England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have different rulings in relation to the official date someone can leave school. Detailed information in relation to the school leaving age can be found on the HRMC website link attached here.


Tax year starting
Apprentice*
Under 18
18 to 20
21 to 24
25 and over
06 April 2017
£3.50
£4.05
£5.60
£7.05
£7.50
06 April 2018
£3.70
£4.20
£5.90
£7.38
£7.83


*Apprentices Qualify for the apprentice rate if they are either:

  • Aged below 19
  • Aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship.

Apprentices are entitled to receive the minimum wage for their age group if they are both:

  • Aged 19 or over
  • Have completed the first year of their apprenticeship.