National Minimum Wage from 1 October 2013


The National Minimum Wage rates are increasing from 1 October 2013. They will be:


•         Apprentice rates: £2.68 per hour. * But see note below.

•         Under 18s: £3.72 per hour.

•         18 to 20 years: £5.03 per hour.

•         Age 21 years and over: £6.31 per hour.


*This is the rate for apprentices under 19 years old or in their first year. Those 19 years or over and past the first year of apprenticeship should be paid at the rate applicable to their age.

National Minimum Wage Rates

New rates came into force on 1 October 2012 and are:

  • £6.19 per hour for workers aged 21 and over – a rise of 11p
  • £4.98 per hour for 18-20 year olds – no change
  • £3.68 per hour for workers above school leaving age but under 18 – no change
  • £2.65 per hour for apprentices – a rise of 5p

If your employer provides you with accommodation, they can count some of its value towards your NMW pay. This is called the accommodation offset. From October, the maximum that employers can count towards NMW pay will be £4.82 – a rise of 9p.

Minimum wage increased from 1 October 2009

337/365: The Big Money

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New minimum wage rates will apply from 1 October 2009. These show a small increase from the 2008 rates, the increases having been proposed while the rate of inflation was considerably higher than now.

The new rates and rates of increase are :

  • Full rate (age 22 and over) – new rate £5.80 per hour; old rate £5.73 per hour; increase 1.2%
  • 18 – 21 rate – new rate £4.83 per hour; old rate £4.77 per hour; increase 1.25%
  • Youth rate – new rate £3.57 per hour; old rate £3.53 per hour; increase 1.1%

More information on the minimum wage is available from the HMRC website which has a dedicated National Minimum Wage area.

HM Revenue & Customs are responsible for monitoring the National Minimum Wage. It is they who will fine you if you fail to pay the correct rates. Currently fines are 50% of the underpayment due to workers subject to a minimum £100 fine and maximum £5,000 fine.

From 1 October 2009 employers cannot use tips to make up wages to the National Minimum Wage, regardless of whether employees receive them through the payroll or in some other way.

National Minimum Wage changes April 2009

All employers should be aware that changes have been introduced to the penalties that will automatically be levied after 6 April 2009 if you fail to observe your obligations regarding payment of National Minimum Wage rates.

From 6 April 2009, a new automatic penalty will be levied where HMRC compliance officers find arrears of the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

Penalties will range from £100 to £5,000 and those employers who settle within 14 days of notification will receive a 50 per cent discount of the penalty for prompt payment. The penalty must be paid in addition to any arrears owed to the workers. The most serious cases of non compliance may be tried in a Crown Court and subject to an unlimited fine.

To reflect this change, the current system of separate NMW enforcement and penalty notices will be replaced by a combined notice of underpayment and penalty. This will be issued whenever HMRC discover that arrears were outstanding at the start of their enquiries.

The notice will detail the amounts due to workers and any penalty due on those arrears. For PAYE reference periods starting on or after 6 April 2009 the penalty will be half the total underpayments shown on the notice. HMRC can pursue arrears claims for workers going back up to six years.

You will be able to appeal both the amount of the arrears and the penalty to an Employment Tribunal (an Industrial Tribunal in Northern Ireland) under new appeal rights. You can call the National Minimum Wage Help line in confidence on Tel 0845 6000 678.

The rates are as follows:

The rates set are based on the recommendations of the independent Low Pay Commission. The rates change on 1st October each year.

National Minimum Wage rates applicable from 1 October 2008

  • Workers aged 22 and over – £5.73 per hour
  • Workers aged 18-21 –         £4.77 per hour
  • Workers aged 16-17 –         £3.53 per hour
  • Accommodation offset –      £4.46 per day (£31.22 per week)