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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

National minimum wage rates: 21 - 24 year old rate

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:

  • National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015, regulation 4A(1)(a)


From 1 April 2016 most workers aged 21 to 24 (inclusive) are entitled to the national minimum wage 21 - 24 year old rate.

Entitlement to this rate depends solely on age and employers may need to ask workers to provide proof of their age, for example, sight of a birth certificate or passport.

Some groups of workers in this age range qualify at a different rate, such as apprentices aged 19 and over and still in the first 12 months of their apprenticeship (NMWM03065).

Prior to the introduction of the “the national living wage rate” on 1 April 2016 (NMWM03020), everyone aged 21 or more were included in the main rate. For pay reference periods starting on or after 1 April 2016, when a worker reaches 25 he should be paid the main, national living wage rate from the first pay reference starting on or after his 25 birthday (NMWM03110)