National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates

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. The rates change every April.

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2018 £7.83 £7.38 £5.90 £4.20 £3.70

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 £3.70.

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 £7.38.

Previous rates

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

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2017 to March 2018 £7.50 £7.05 £5.60 £4.05 £3.50
October 2016 to March 2017 £7.20 £6.95 £5.55 £4.00 £3.40
April 2016 to September 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

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.

  1. Step 1 Check your business is ready to employ staff

  2. Step 2 Recruit someone

    You need to advertise the role and interview candidates. You can use a recruitment agency to do this or do it yourself.

    1. Find out about recruiting someone yourself on Acas
    2. Find out about using a recruitment agency

    As an employer you must make sure you recruit employees fairly.

    1. Avoid discrimination during recruitment
    2. Make your application process accessible for employees with disabilities or health conditions
  3. and Find out if they need a DBS check

    You may need to check someone's criminal record, for example, if they'll be working in healthcare or with children.

    1. Find out if you need a DBS check
    2. How to do a DBS check
  4. Step 3 Check if they need to be put into a workplace pension

    1. Assess if they need to be put into a workplace pension

    You have ongoing responsibilities to check if your employees need to be put into a workplace pension scheme.

    1. Check what your ongoing responsibilities are
  5. Step 4 Agree a contract and salary

  6. Step 5 Tell HMRC about your new employee