The National Minumum Wage

The National Minimum Wage Rate is a legal average hourly earnings amount, below which no worker must fall. It is variable depending on your age, and applies to people over the age of 16 – for every job type and sector.

Understanding your minimum wage rights

The National Minimum Wage Rate is reviewed every year, and any increases take place in October.

Rates from the 1st October 2015 are:

  • £6.70 per hour for someone aged 21 and over
  • £5.30 per hour for workers aged 18-20 inclusive
  • £3.87 per hour for 16 & 17 year olds (above school leaving age)
  • £3.30 an hour for apprentices who are 16 &17, or who are over 19 but in the first year of their apprenticeship

From April 2016, a new mandatory National Living Wage will be introduced for workers over the age of 25 and above. This rate will be £7.20.

To see rates for previous years, visit the website.


If your employer provides your accommodation, this may also affect your wage. From October 2015 the offset rate for accommodation charges is £5.35 a day or £37.45 a week. If your employer charges more than this, the difference is taken off your pay.


To check your earnings, you can use a Minimum Wage calculator, and if you are concerned that you are, or have not, been receiving the right rate, get in touch with our Service Centre on 0800 389 6332 or