National minimum wage


On 1st April the National Living Wage (NLW) for workers aged 25 and over increased from £7.20 to £7.50 per hour. The National Minimum Wage (NMW) also increased:

  • Aged 21-24: £7.05 per hour
  • 18-20: £5.60 per hour
  • Over compulsory school age but not yet 18: £4.05 per hour
  • On the apprentice rate (where the apprentice is under 19 or over 19 but in the first year of their apprenticeship): £3.50 per hour


HMRC have compiled a list of ten of the most bizarre excuses used by unscrupulous bosses found to have underpaid workers the National Minimum Wage:

  • The employee wasn’t a good worker so I didn’t think they deserved to be paid the National Minimum Wage.
  • It’s part of UK culture not to pay young workers for the first three months as they have to prove their ‘worth’ first.
  • I thought it was ok to pay foreign workers below the National Minimum Wage as they aren’t British and therefore don’t have the right to be paid it.
  • She doesn’t deserve the National Minimum Wage because she only makes the teas and sweeps the floors.
  • I’ve got an agreement with my workers that I won’t pay them the National Minimum Wage; they understand and they even signed a contract to this effect.
  • My accountant and I speak a different language – he doesn’t understand me and that’s why he doesn’t pay my workers the correct wages.
  • My workers like to think of themselves as being self-employed and the National Minimum Wage doesn’t apply to people who work for themselves.
  • My workers are often just on standby when there are no customers in the shop; I only pay them for when they’re actually serving someone.
  • My employee is still learning so they aren’t entitled to the National Minimum Wage.
  • The National Minimum Wage doesn’t apply to my business.

The increases on 1st April mean that by law, all workers must be paid at least £7.20 an hour if they are aged 25 years and over, or the National Minimum Wage rate relevant to their age if they are younger.

If you need any help or advice to make sure you are properly complying with the minimum wage regulations, please get in touch.

Castletons Accountants

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