What is the National Minimum Wage in the UK?

July 31, 2015

National Minimum Wage in the UK

Most employers in the UK are aware of minimum wage legislation, and of the how much they are obliged to pay their employees as a minimum hourly rate.

However, seeing as how the minimum wage in the UK tends to be reviewed on a yearly basis, we thought we’d provide a quick breakdown of what the current minimum wage is in the UK, as well as when you might expect it to next increase.

National Minimum Wage UK

The UK government publishes official figures on their website, which you can find here. Here is a basic breakdown of the current numbers, as applicable from October 2014, and as still applicable at the time of publishing this article:

Aged 21+: For regular employees aged 21 and above, you are required by law to pay a wage of at least £6.50 per hour.

Aged 18 – 20: Regular employees who are at least 18 (but less than 21) years old, are entitled to receive at least £5.13 per hour.

Under 18 Years Old: Any regular employees below the age of 18 must receive at least £3.79 per hour.

– Apprentices: There is a special set of rules for apprentices – all apprentices between the ages of 16 – 18 are entitled to a minimum of £2.73 per hour. This same hourly rate also applies to apprentices aged 19 or over, who are in their first year of their apprenticeship – but please note, any apprentices who fall into any other category must be paid the standard national minimum wage for their age group (i.e. apprentices who are aged 19 or over, and who have gone beyond their first year working for you).

When Does Minimum Wage Go Up?

Although it’s never guaranteed that the national minimum wage will go up every single year, it does tend to get reviewed every single year – and if we look at the past 5 years of changes, we find that for most categories, it has indeed increased year-on-year.

Sometimes, national minimum wage gets reviewed, but doesn’t change – for example, in 2011, the national minimum wage for under 18s was £3.68 per hour; this remained the same when reviewed in 2012.

The national minimum wage is normally reviewed in October – so from October 2015, make sure you check that you are still keeping in-line with national minimum wage legislation by checking for any updated rates of pay.

Am I Being Paid Enough?

If you’re currently employed and would like to check whether or not your employer is paying you at least minimum wage, you can use the UK Government’s handy National Minimum Wage Calculator.

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