What is the National Minimum Wage?

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National Minimum Wage (NMW) requires a minimum amount to be paid to employees.

The National Minimum Wage is the minimum hourly rate that employees and workers must be paid for each hour they are working.

What age bands are there for National Minimum Wage?

There are different rates based on ages from 16 to 22, and for age 23 and over the National Living Wage applies.  The amounts for 2022, and those applicable from 1 April 2023, are below.

What should I be paid for?

There are rules around what “counts” as working time, for which you must be paid at least at the level of National Minimum Wage that applies to you.

You should be paid at National Minimum Wage for the number of hours a week that you are working.  If your hourly pay works out to be less than National Minimum Wage when you divide your pay by the number of hours you work, then you may be underpaid and could have a claim. It’s therefore important to work out how many hours a week you’re regarded as working.

If your employer makes reductions from your wages for accommodation, there’s a limit on how much they can take – see the table below.

You might also be entitled to be paid for time spent travelling on business – such as where a carer travels between clients – or time spent on training courses, or for time spent “on call”.

The Naitonal Minimum Wage amount is age dependant.

How many hours a week can I be required to work?

Most workers can’t be required to work more than 48 hours a week on average.  You can choose to opt out of that 48-hour limit but can’t be forced to do so.  The 48-hour limit on working time doesn’t apply to all jobs.

The rates which will apply from 1 April 2023 are as follows:

Rate from 1 April 2022 Rate from 1 April 2023 Increase
National Living Wage (NLW)
for workers 23 and over
£9.50 £10.42 9.7%
21-22 year old rate (NMW) £9.18 £10.18 10.9%
18-20 year old rate (NMW) £6.83 £7.49 9.7%
16-17 year old rate (NMW) £4.81 £5.28 9.7%
Apprentice rate £4.81 £5.28 9.7%
Accommodation offset £8.70 £9.10 4.6%

Need more help with National Minimum Wage?

If you need more help with the subjects covered here then do reach out to our expert employment solicitors.  You can speak to our employment solicitors online via email employment@qlaw.co.uk or call us on 03300 020 863.

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