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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

National minimum wage rates: 18 - 20 year old rate

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:

* National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015, regulation 4(1)(b)


Most workers aged 18 to 20 (inclusive) are entitled to the national minimum wage 18 to 20 year old rate. For pay reference periods starting prior to 1 October 2010 this age band also included workers aged 21 (covering the age group 18 to 21 inclusive).

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 under 19 or aged 19 and over and still in the first 12 months of their apprenticeship) (NMWM03065).

For pay reference periods starting on or after 1 October 2010, when a worker reaches 21 he should be paid the main rate (NMWM03020) from the first pay reference period starting on or after his 21 birthday (NMWM03110).

The original 18-21 year old rate was also called the development rate for 18 - 21 year olds.