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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 26 and over

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)

Up to and including 31 September 2006

The upper age limit for apprentices (NMWM05230) was removed from 1 October 2006. Prior to this date, apprentices aged 26 or more qualified for the national minimum wage in the normal way.

For example:

Worker F started an apprenticeship in July 2006 at the age of 27. They were entitled to the national minimum wage main rate in the normal way as they were over 26.

Worker G, aged 25 years 6 months started an apprenticeship with an employer in January 2006. Initially the worker did not qualify for the national minimum wage because they were under 26 and within the first 12 months of the start of their apprenticeship. However, after 6 months the worker turned 26 and immediately qualified for the national minimum wage main rate despite still being within the first 12 months of the start of their apprenticeship.

From 1 October 2006 to 30 September 2010

The upper age limit for apprentices (NMWM05230) was removed from 1 October 2006. This meant that for the period 1 October 2006 to 30 September 2010;

  • Individuals aged 26 and over on that date and who started their apprenticeship on or after 1 October 2006 did not qualify for national minimum wage until the pay reference period after the end of the first 12 months of their apprenticeship
  • From 1 October 2006, existing apprentices aged 26 and over who qualified for the main rate of national minimum wage continued to qualify under the normal rules, regardless of whether or not they were still within the first 12 months of their apprenticeship
  • From 1 October 2006, existing apprentices aged 19 to 25 did not qualify for national minimum wage until the pay reference period after the end of the first 12 months of their apprenticeship, even if this period extended until after their 26th birthday.
  • From 1 October 2006, existing apprentices under 19 did not qualify for national minimum wage.

From 1 October 2010

From 1 October 2010 all workers engaged under a contract of apprenticeship (NMWM05240), or treated as employed under a contract of apprenticeship (NMWM05235) qualify for the national minimum wage (NMWM05230) either at the national minimum wage rate for apprentices (NMWM03065) or the rate applicable to their age band (NMWM03020).

See also:
NMWM05270 for apprentices aged over 19 and in the first 12 months of their apprenticeship contract.

NMWM05280 for apprentices aged over 19 and not in the first 12 months of their apprenticeship contract.