National minimum wage

The national minimum wage (NMW) is a legal right which covers almost all workers in the UK. It became law on 1 April 1999 to prevent unduly low pay and also to help create a level playing field for employers.

national minimum wage

The number of hours for which you have to pay your workers the NMW is calculated differently according to the types of work they do. The types of work for NMW purposes are time work, salaried-hours work, output work and unmeasured work.

As an employer you are legally required to keep sufficient records to show you are paying your workers at least the NMW. For many employers, existing payroll and business Law Courses records will be sufficient and there will be no need to maintain separate records. For example, the pay records you keep for PAYE (Pay As You Earn) and National Insurance contributions and the related payment protection refunds records may be adequate for NMW purposes.

Individuals taking home the standard minimum rate - previously only paid national minimum wage to workers age 22 and above, but now available to those over the age of 21 too - will see their pay increase by 13p an hour to £5.93.

What's more, for the first time ever a National Minimum Wage has been set for those undertaking an apprenticeship. This is set at £2.50/hour both for those under the age of 19, and for those over the age of 19 who are in the first year of study. Apprentices over the age of 19 in their second year and beyond are now entitled to the same National Minimum Wage as the rest of their age group.