What is the National Minimum Wage?

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the minimum pay per hour most workers in the UK are entitled to by law.

The rate varies depending on your age and whether you’re an apprentice.

Most workers who are 25 or older must be paid at least the National Living Wage (NLW), which is the highest rate of the National Minimum Wage.

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage Rates for 2018/19

Age Minimum hourly rate 2018-19 2019-20
25 and over £7.83 £8.21
21 to 24 £7.38 £7.70
18 to 20 £5.90 £6.15
Under 18 £4.20 £4.35
Apprentice £3.70 £3.90

Apprentices and the National Minimum Wage

Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate of the National Minimum Wage if they are either:

  • Under 19
  • 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

Apprentices over 19 who have completed the first year of their apprenticeship are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their age.

Am I entitled to the National Minimum Wage?

You must be at least school leaving age (the last Friday in June of the school year in which you turn 16) to get the National Minimum Wage.

Almost all workers are entitled to the National Minimum Wage, including:

  • Casual workers
  • Part-time workers
  • Temporary workers

But if you’re self employed or a company director, you’re not entitled to the National Minimum Wage.