The hourly rate for the minimum wage depends on your age and whether you’re an apprentice.

This page is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

You must be at least:

  • school leaving age to get the National Minimum Wage
  • aged 25 to get the National Living Wage - the minimum wage will still apply for workers aged 24 and under

Current rates

These rates are for the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage from 1 October 2016.

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
October 2016 (current rate) £7.20 £6.95 £5.55 £4.00 £3.40

National Minimum Wage rates change every October. National Living Wage rates change every April.

Apprentices

Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re either:

  • aged under 19
  • aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

Example An apprentice aged 22 in the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £3.40

Apprentices are entitled to the minimum wage for their age if they both:

  • are aged 19 or over
  • have completed the first year of their apprenticeship

Example An apprentice aged 22 who has completed the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £6.95

Previous rates

The following rates were for the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage from April to October 2016.

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2016 £7.20 £6.70 £5.30 £3.87 £3.30

Rates before April 2016

The following rates were for the National Minimum Wage before the National Living Wage was introduced. The rates were usually updated every October.

Year 21 and over 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
2015 £6.70 £5.30 £3.87 £3.30
2014 £6.50 £5.13 £3.79 £2.73
2013 £6.31 £5.03 £3.72 £2.68
2012 £6.19 £4.98 £3.68 £2.65
2011 £6.08 £4.98 £3.68 £2.60
2010 £5.93 £4.92 £3.64 £2.50

Rates before 2010

The age groups were different before 2010 and there were no National Minimum Wage rates for apprentices.

Year 22 and over 18 to 21 Under 18  
2009 £5.80 £4.83 £3.57
2008 £5.73 £4.77 £3.53
2007 £5.52 £4.60 £3.40
2006 £5.35 £4.45 £3.30
2005 £5.05 £4.25 £3.00

Who gets the minimum wage

Read the information on who is entitled to the minimum wage.

You can use the minimum wage calculator to check whether the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage is being paid.

Contact Acas if you’re not getting the National Minimum Wage and think you should be.