This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Entitlement to national minimum wage: apprentices

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:

* National Minimum Wage Act 1998, sections 54(2) & 54(3)
* National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015, regulations 4(1)(d) & 5



For minimum wage purposes, a person engaged under a contract of apprenticeship (NMWM05240) is a worker with either:

  • a contract of apprenticeship (NMWM05240) signed by both parties but may also be a verbal agreement (express or implied), or
  • an apprenticeship agreement (within the meaning of section 32 of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009).

Someone can also be treated as employed under a contract of apprenticeship if they are:

  • a worker under section 54(3) of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998, and
  • are on a specific Government training programme (NMWM05235).

If the worker is engaged by an employer prior to starting a Government arrangement “apprenticeship” the prior period is not automatically treated as an extension of the apprenticeship period but should be considered on its own merits by examining the arrangement between the employer and worker, in the same manner as any other formal non-Government arrangement apprenticeship (NMWM05240).