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Nearly all workers aged 16 and over are entitled to the National Minimum Wage. This includes part-time workers, fixed-term workers, agency workers, casuals, those on ‘zero-hours’ contracts and homeworkers.

But the minimum wage can vary according to your age and type of work. As of 1 April 2023, the current hourly rates are:

  • £10.42 for workers aged 23 and over. The government calls this the ‘National Living Wage’ rate
  • £10.18 for workers aged 21 to 22
  • £7.49 for workers aged 18 to 20. This is called the ‘Youth Development Rate’
  • £5.28 for workers under 18

There is also a special apprenticeship rate of £5.28 an hour. This can only be paid to apprentices aged under 19, and those aged 19 who are in their first year of their apprenticeship. For the rate to apply, both the employer and apprentice must have signed a valid Apprenticeship Agreement.

Minimum wage rates are reviewed each year, normally in April.

Your basic pay must be equal to or more than the National Minimum Wage, not including tips and gratuities or enhanced rates (e.g. time and a half).

However, while this is the legal minimum, many good employers will offer a higher basic rate, sometimes called the ‘real living wage’.

Each year, this rate is independently calculated, based on what workers and their families need to maintain a decent standard of living. But your employer has no statutory obligation to pay you this rate.

Who is entitled to minimum pay?
Nearly all  workers  aged 16 and over, including part-time workers, fixed-term workers,  agency workers, casuals, those working on 'zero hours'  contracts  and homeworkers,
Are agency workers entitled to the minimum wage?
Yes. Agency workers, whether full time, part-time or on zero hours contracts are entitled to at least the  National Minimum Wage  (NMW).
I work on 'piece rate'. Am I entitled to the National Minimum Wage?
Yes. The minimum fair piece rate is 120% of the  National Minimum Wage.
Our employer has not paid us any money this week. What can we do?
Failure to pay  wages  for work done is an unauthorised deduction from wages. If the matter cannot be resolved, you are entitled to make a claim to an  employment tribunal. 
Our employer asks us to turn up 15 minutes before work starts but doesn't pay us for this time. Shouldn't this come under our paid time?
If you are an hourly-paid worker, you should be paid the agreed contractual rate for every hour you are required to work. 'Work' includes time spent at the employer's premises and at the employer's disposal, even when you haven’t started on your tasks yet because you are getting ready for your working day. 
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