From 1st October 2015 the new National Minimum Wage will be enforced in the UK. This change will affect workers of all age groups as well as apprentices. The new rates are set out below:
21 and over – £6.70
18-20 – £5.30
Under 18 – £3.87
Apprentice – £3.30
This new legislation has been recommended and approved by the Low Pay Commission and is set to benefit around 1.4 million of the UK’s lowest earning workers.
The rate for apprenticeships has increased by a significant 57p per hour from £2.73 to £3.30. The apprenticeship rate only applies to apprentices aged 16-18 or those aged 19 but that are only in their first year of training. This increase has been set in the hope that it will encourage more young people into these programmes with a wage more comparable to other workers of this age group. All other apprentices who do not fall into this category are to be paid in accordance with the National Minimum Wage Rates for their age group.
Workers can check if they are being paid the National Minimum Wage of the ACAS website if they are uncertain.
Employers should also be aware that from April 2016 a compulsory living wage for over 25s is also set to be introduced. This future legislation will further increase the national rate from £6.70 to £7.20 for those workers aged 25 and over. The National Minimum Wage for those not in this age group will continue to apply.
Companies of any size, sector or region within the UK are legally obliged to provide this hourly rate to their employees as the minimum wage rate starting from today.