The National Minimum Wage refers to the minimum pay per hour that almost all workers in the UK are entitled to, no matter how big or small their employer.
Full-time, part-time and contract workers (both zero-hour and otherwise) are all entitled to the minimum wage. Read our article What is a zero-hours contract and what are my rights? to understand your rights as a zero-hour contract worker.
These rates vary between different age groups, and they change on April 1st every year.
The current rates for the minimum wage per hour in the 2022/23 year are:
ApprenticeUnder 1818 to 2021 to 2223 and over£4.81£4.81£6.83£9.18£9.50
While the minimum wage is expressed as an hourly rate, you’re still entitled to this amount even if you are not paid by the hour.
Your employer is not allowed to count tips or service charges as part of your minimum wage, but they can count bonuses.
If you’ve made any payments for work purposes yourself, your employer needs to deduct these before checking that you’ve been paid the minimum wage. These may include, for example, paying for work equipment such as uniforms or tools, or other payments that are specifically for work purposes, such as travel between sites. In other words, these payments can’t take a chunk out of your minimum wage, and it’s your employer’s job to compensate you for them.
Payments such as tax and National Insurance are not deducted before checking that you are receiving the minimum wage, so these will still come out of your income.
If your workplace offers a salary sacrifice scheme, then making use of this is not allowed to take you below the minimum wage, no matter what the benefits are. Read more about how this works in our article What is salary sacrifice?