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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

National minimum wage rates: uprating and the date changes of date apply

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:

* National Minimum Wage Act 1998, sections 2, 3 & 4
* Various transitional regulations
* National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015, regulations 4(2) & 16(3)

A worker is entitled to the rate of national minimum wage (NMWM03010) in force on the first day of a pay reference period. From 1 October 2002, changes in rate apply from the first pay reference period starting on or after the date the change comes into force. For example, for pay reference periods starting on or after 1 October 2010, a worker will become entitled to the main rate (NMWM03020) from the first pay reference period starting on or after his 21 birthday.

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills (NMWM02020) is responsible for introducing new regulations to change the rates of national minimum wage and sets the date of any changes. This is usually done after recommendations from the Low Pay Commission (NMWM02010). Since 2017 the minimum wage rate is changed every April, prior to this the rate changed every October. About February each year the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills announces details of the forthcoming changes in press releases and on the national minimum wage pages of its website, . This is followed by a publicity campaign around the time the changes come into effect.

Prior to 1 October 2002, specific transitional regulations were required each time a new rate was introduced or rates were increased. These were needed to ensure workers only received the change in rate from the start of the pay reference period on or after the new rate came into force and not from the actual date the regulation came into force. This avoided having two rates applying to any pay reference period that spanned the date of the change.