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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Entitlement to national minimum wage: apprentices aged 19 and over and in the first 12 months of their apprenticeship contract

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:

For pay reference periods commencing

* on or after 6 April 2015; National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015, regulation 5
* before 6 April 2015; National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999, regulation 13(3)

General

For pay reference periods starting on or after 1 October 2010 apprentices (NMWM05230) aged 19 and over and in the first 12 months of their apprenticeship qualify for the national minimum wage apprentice rate (NMWM03065).

For example:

Worker C, aged 20, starts an apprenticeship with an employer. The apprentice is over 19 and so is entitled to the national minimum wage apprentice rate for the first 12 months of their apprenticeship. After that 12 months, the worker is entitled to the national minimum wage at his respective age rate (NMWM05280).

Worker D, starts an apprenticeship aged 18½. Whilst under age 19 he is entitled to the national minimum wage apprentice rate. Later that year, the worker turns 19. Although the worker is now aged over 19 he is still entitled to the national minimum wage apprentice rate for another 6 months (ie. the remainder of the 12 months from the start of his contract of apprenticeship). After this he will be entitled to the national minimum wage at his respective age rate (NMWM05280).

For pay reference periods starting on or after 1 October 2006 until 30 September 2010, apprentices (NMWM05230) aged 19 or over who were in the first 12 months of their apprenticeship did not qualify for the national minimum wage for the first 12 months of their apprenticeship.

For pay reference periods starting before 1 October 2006, apprentices did not qualify for the national minimum wage if they were in the first 12 months of their apprenticeship and under 26. This upper age limit has now been removed (NMWM05290). At this time, apprentices aged 26 and over qualified for the national minimum wage main rate.